It’s a misty, overcast morning. The air is primed for rain. The sweet corn calls from the garden. It’s time — perhaps past time — to pick and process it for winter storage. The summer winds to a close on these last days of August. In northwestern Minnesota summer announces its exit without equivocation. The sun rises later each day. The mornings take on a noticeable chill. The leaves of the aspens yellow. Chokecherry trees turn crimson. Woodland sunflowers and asters open. Goldenrods wave in the drying fields. Each is a sure sign of summer’s end.
If I could turn back time, I would begin summer anew. Pain would be absent. Joy would awaken me each morning. I would sit outdoors in the early hours watching the new season establishing itself —first warblers, first bluebirds, first eastern kingbirds. I would witness the hepatica opening; I would watch the wood anemone blossom. Flowering plum and apple trees would inform my senses. The sounds of bees and dragonflies, spring peepers and chorus frogs would be each day’s musical accompaniment.
But it cannot be. Time sweeps us along. Nothing remains as it is. The clock ticks, the sun rises and sets, the seasons turn. Before I can catch my breath, a world recently awakened prepares itself again for a long winter’s sleep.
The poet-novelist Jim Harrison wrote:
I see today that everyone on earth
wants the answer to the same question
but none has the language to ask it.
It’s a misty, overcast morning. The air is primed for rain. The sweet corn calls from the garden. It’s time to pick it for winter storage. The summer winds to a close on these last days of August.
My question – why must everything end?
Harrison, Jim. “A Puzzle.” Songs of Unreason, 47. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press, 2011.