fading summer

"Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?"
-Robert Frost

Resisting change, I believe, is one of the most basic human instincts. And I'm completely guilty of it. Though I love the start of a new season, I can never wholeheartedly embrace the change. There remains a part of me that clings to the familiar. In this case, a part of me that is not ready to pack away the flip-flops, sunscreen and flowing skirts. A part of me that pouts when the sun sets before 8:00 pm.

But I'm learning that one way to welcome a new season is to bid a proper farewell to the passing one. Given this, I'm trying to appreciate the last days of summer — noting the nuances of the season, and all that it carries. Because just when I start to think, I'm ready for fall (like when my legs, arms and even knuckles are swollen with mosquito bites), I find some new little piece of summer to fall in love with.

Take, for instance, your typical chlorine-soaked suburban swimming pool. Have you ever looked at the bottom? Like really seen it? It is dizzying, but amazing. The sun cuts through like tiny laser beams, dancing and scattering along the bottom, in a strangely chaotic-but-fluid rhythm, breaking patterns as soon as they are formed. Or, the way the water feels when you swim? It envelops and transforms your body into a foreign, nearly weightless being. Swallowing you whole, the water feels like a strong wind blowing against your skin, but from every direction at the same moment. [model: my cousin Emma, age 4 1/2]

I'm grateful for these last days of the season. But I know that, as with all things, this too shall pass. My obsession with summer will end September 21. My obsession with fall will promptly take its place, on September 22, with a vengeance.

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