They are few and sometimes seem to be purely imaginary. This is one of them. Magical, with a sky so blue you could not find it on a pallette, probably couldn’t mix it if you were van Gogh himself. And the air: clean, thin, sharp – a real edge to it, yet not enough to demand a coat even at first light. Temperature just a shade over 50 degrees, a breeze so light that the leaves seem to wave in slow motion.
These are the days of summer we have waited for since winter; waited for with the feeling they might never come. It’s August, and instead of hot, sultry days we have cool, dry and delectable hours of daylight. And with it, a noticeable shortening of the day. One day less in our lives.
The early morning cool will give way to warm, even hot afternoon, but only until the sun passes the mountain to the west. It will be a day for working outside. We are already thinking of the month to come, when here on our rocky slopes the leaves will start to turn, the grass will grow less aggressively, when we will start gathering small stuff to start the wood furnace, making the first effort to cut and split and stack the coming winter’s wood. Given the long run-up to hay making this year, we will be watching for signs of a second crop, hoping it will come before the first frost.
Country life for us – mostly retired, no proper schedule to follow, fewer and fewer entries on the calendar for things yet to be done – still has its demands, imposed not by other people so much as by the nature of nature itself. Every season brings work generated by weather, by expectations, by needs. Time passes quickly – more quickly than one would like, even when there are days that one wishes were over and gone. We know, regardless of age, there will be people we will not see again, places we will not visit another time, things we will no longer be able to accomplish or even enjoy. Yet a day like today, with a forecast of at least a whole week of days like this, reminds us that there are still many joyful times ahead, days that quicken the spirit, urge you to breathe deeply, look carefully, listen closely.
Life is calling. Be sure to answer.