The reality of autumn cannot compare to the illusion of summer.
The tree leaves turn beautiful in autumn, but their dance to the ground reminds us that the earth’s vitality is about to pause. The afternoon air becomes comfortable, but the nights grow cold. The sunlight recedes, and individual days disappear quickly. The world becomes silent, save perhaps for the caw of some lonely crow flying over a brown landscape. Time marches on more decidedly in autumn. Winter may be the season of death, but death is followed by resurrection. Autumn is the season of dying.
Summer, on the other hand, stands still.
Yes, 24 hours pass by just as quickly at the end of June as at the end of November, but summer’s illusion obliterates that reality!
There is no time in summer; just one long day punctuated by short nights. Noon or midnight, shorts and a t-shirt will suffice. The days are alive with insects and birds, who will also remind you all through the night that the Season of Life is in full swing, as if to say, “Lie down and rest for a while, we’ll keep the party going!” A summer day doesn’t slam shut at 5 o’clock; it slowly recedes into the twilight. Summer nights are mere pauses, not grinding halts.
Perhaps, I misspoke earlier: Summer is not an illusion, it is a borrowing; a borrowing from the past. Not only do the flowers and the birds return, but so does our childhood. One long continuous day without reference to a series of holiday dates or the need to keep an eye on the latest forecast. As in our youth, we burst out of our doors, the screen slamming behind us; burst upon the rivers and picnic grounds and hiking trails; onto the ball diamonds and into the gardens. We burst upon the earth with no less enthusiasm and no less color than the flowers.
Heat and humidity and weeds and mosquitoes are but a token price to pay for a return trip to childhood. Summer is activation, not hibernation, and while living as long as I have has limited my personal possibilities, summer reminds me that the world in general still possesses endless possibilities.
Summer is the magic time.