It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost over. Some of the trees and shrubs in my backyard have already started to shed their leaves. And soon, kids will be returning to school. I knew it was coming. I just haven’t wanted to accept it. Another season in my life has too quickly gone.
Although I love autumn, I’m always a little sad when summer comes to an end. Winter arrives so soon. And there will be months of longing for green grass and trees, the yellows, pinks, and oranges of my flowers, and the purples and reds of my eggplants and tomatoes.
What I perhaps miss most on those seemingly endless winter days are the sounds of summer evenings. For me, nothing is sweeter than the croaking of frogs and toads; the hissing of cicadas; the whistling of lacewings; the cricketing of crickets; and the creaking of nighthawks. These are all sounds I memorized after years of country living. I slept with the bedroom windows cracked open most nights for close to thirty years, from late May to early October. And the sweet sounds of summer serenaded me into my dreams. Now, living in the city, I don’t sleep with my windows open at night, as I used to.
The paradox, of course, is that you can be saddened by the end of one season and yet so excited to see another one ushered in. Our beloved farm stands will soon stop offering produce, making way for gloriously colored pumpkins and gourds. Next, the local garden center will start selling mums. And then will come, the sounds of fall – the wind rustling through dried crunchy leaves, the sounds of farm machinery harvesting in nearby fields, and thousands upon thousands of migrating geese.
Even the sounds of students returning to school are there to delight me during this transition from summer to fall. As I pick the last vegetables in my garden, I hear the high school marching band playing just blocks away. Students are practicing their songs for the homecoming parade and chilly evening football games.
So, once again, I’ll take the changing season as though it were a necessary pill. It is a time to absorb and be grateful for precious things like colors, smells, and sounds. I encourage everyone to take some time to sit outside in the evening, or go for a walk around dusk. Listen for these magic songs of the summer nights. Seasons must come and go, the world must spin, and time must march on. Perhaps the sounds of summer nights are meant to be recorded in our minds, bolstering us for the cold grey nights ahead and keeping us looking ever forward.