August at last!
I shocked myself the first time I made this outrageous exclamation, maybe the second summer of living in Virginia, while I still remembered all my preceding Augusts in Alabama. Before Virginia summers, I had always thought the words August and disgust were close relatives.
In the deepest south, when you turned July over on the funeral home calendar, you found no hope at all, knowing there would still be another few tepid, plodding months before you could walk out your door and sense that smothering, stultifying summer was losing its grip.
In the Blue Ridge of Virginia, evidence of this changing of the guard is everywhere, if you pay attention. And I always do, because fall is my favorite, high-energy time of year. I don’t want to have the transition happen under my very feet with my senses turned to less important things like elections and hurricanes.
I once gushed that “if you blindfolded me and spun me around twice, and dropped me anywhere on the calendar, I could tell you it was August by the smell or by the sound of it alone.” I intend to drive that conviction deeper with each (far-too-rapidly-passing) turn of the page to the eighth month on Goose Creek.
The occasional scorching hot days we will still suffer in August and September I can almost enjoy, with the hope that heat and humidity will only be now and then burdens against a backdrop of shorter, cooler energized days and chilly nights.
Early on, though, you have to pay close attention and look, listen and smell the month ahead through the eyes, ears and nose of faith.
[This is an entry from upcoming book Floyd County Almanac, in progress, publication target Summer 2013.]
CAPTION: Night sky from town, August 25, 2012, with iPhone rendered with Adobe PixelBender / Oil Paint filter. Click to enlarge on SmugMug.