02 August 2016


August has arrived.  A month dreaded by many schoolchildren, as it signals the end of - or nearly the end of - summer vacation.  When I was a kid, we used to always go on our vacation during August, after all of the other kids had long ago been on theirs.  It used to please me, because even though waiting through the whole summer seemed unfair, then when it finally happened, it was an even better treat.  And the looming of the school year could be forgotten until it was nearly time to actually show up for the first day.

I still think of August as the winding down of summer, but now that I'm not in school, I think of it more as a month of transition, when summer things start to finish, and thoughts of fall and cooler weather can begin.  In our family, it's month of birthdays for those who are gone but not forgotten, and wedding anniversaries for those here to celebrate.  A bittersweet month, if you will.

by Mary Oliver

When blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles 
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is.  In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.


Vera said...

LOVE that poem...perfect. I'm not a hot weather person and I always looked forward to going back to school (new supplies, new clothes, etc.). I am ready for September and October...not sure about winter though - lol.

elns said...

A great poem that really captures the spirit of August. I want blackberries now. What? I'm literal, forgive me! Yes, growing up August was the beginning of the end as we used to say. Now it is a month of transition because my kid actually starts school in the middle of the month. A crap piece of timing if there ever was. Can we PLEASE go back to the old after Labor Day thing? sorry. for the rant. Anyhow, we too are chockful of family birthdays and things and people I'm grateful for. Lots of celebrations. Then there are the people that vacation this time of year so lots of visitors in town to see. It's busy but fleeting.

Anonymous said...

August .......not a favorite month around here. Too hot. Too humid and the chance for tropical storms always looms on the horizon. UGH!

(Harry's Hundred hats went to their forever home today. Duh me! I forgot to get good photos. Know in your heart that they will be well loved come winter time.)