August

Each year, the winter solstice fills me with dismay. I can shrug my shoulders and try to make nothing of it but I’m just hiding the inevitable from my self. August is on the way.

It matters not that the winter is cold and bleak (although in Central Texas it is more like cool and crisp). It matters not that most things appears lifeless and that only by the days getting longer will the world warm up and life begin anew. Spring should be a time of happiness at new life budding and growing all around me and I do enjoy it but the thought of August creeping toward me in its slow methodical way is like a black cloud that hangs in the back of my mind and fills me with dread that overshadows everything.

August is a time of burning and of gasping for breath in the sultry air. The sky is brassy and pale and the heat waves shimmer in the air. It is as if the sun has decided to reside among us. But it ends up being more like an unwelcome guest that overstays its visit for way too long. And this visitor refuses to leave. In fact, it takes over and keep us hostage until the rotation of the earth finally persuades it to give up and move out. This year has been especially bad. August settled in for its visit in May and has not left yet. It has been a greedy little buggar too – it stole a lot of our water and did not leave much for us, our animals and our land.

I try to compare us with the desert Southwest but I always seem to fail. I’ve been there and it is very hot during the summer but not so hot that it sucks the life out of me like it does here. Why is it that our heat is worse than theirs?

What’s really ironic is that I love love love the sun. I love the way how, when it touches me, it lifts my spirits and fills me with happiness. And even though the days are brutal, once it goes down, it leaves the air with a warm velvety texture that caresses my skin. That is my most favorite part of the summer months.  Another irony.

This morning when I walked outside I felt something I had not felt in a long time. It was late August and warm but there was something else too. It was nothing tangible but more like a whiff of things to come, a whisper on the air that soon, very soon, it will all be over and to hang in there just a little while longer.

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