Summer’s Final Chapter
It’s going to be a hot one around the cabin today. I’ll most likely work on this post in chapters. Dad and I have been in the hay fields all week for the second and final hay cutting and I have one small field left to rake and bale before we can tie a bow on this summer’s hay season. I’m currently sitting by the AC waiting for the dew to dry so I can get started. I’ll write for a while and then pick it back up later this afternoon.
My apologies to those who’ve left comments that I just got around to approving. My spam filter wasn’t set up correctly (or rather set up at all) and I was getting bombarded with hundreds of spam comments a week and sifting through them daily just wasn’t high on my list of priorities. But now that issue seems to be resolved and commenting can now move on.
Summer is wrapping up. The Lady had to go back to her classroom last week and I have to return to mine this week. My buddy, Johnny wrote a great piece this week on his blog about the ending of summer. (Read it and subscribe to his blog. It’s always good stuff.) For me it was a timely piece and one that I want to touch on myself at the end of this epic summer. For those who haven’t followed, the four and a half year building of the cabin was finally completed and soon after our teaching jobs gave us the summer we moved into the cabin full-time. We planted a garden, I took over a lot more responsibility around the ranch and then we took the trip we’d been saving for and toured France, Scotland and Ireland for three weeks. Epic hardly describes it all.
But the second cutting of hay always represents the close of summer for me. And generally I’m glad. For the agricultural folks, summer represents a time of a lot of work and sweat and with the onset of fall brings a shift and rest. Apart from going back to teaching and the campus filling up with fresh young faces, the summer garden starts fading. Cooler temperatures will be arriving soon followed by the smell of woodsmoke drifting through the air from a distant chimney. Leaves are already beginning to change as I’ve noticed some sweet gum turning crimson. County fairs, fall festivals and rodeos will start popping up as we ultimately celebrate the year’s harvest. Fall calves will soon be arriving and by Christmas we’ll have a field of young and giddy heifers and steers chasing each other around the fields and before long I’ll be spending cool days in the woods hunting for meat for the freezer.
It’s hard to write about this without sounding cliche’. But the reality is that there is truth within the cliche’. And while fall is considered to be the time of dying to winter’s death, for me it always sends a surge of new life flowing through my bones… pause for hay baling…
….unpause…baling complete….And just like that the last hay bale of the season is rolled and waiting in the field to be loaded on a truck and hauled to the barn.
Now where was I? Oh yeah…cliche’.
It won’t be long now. Maybe a couple of weeks or so I’ll walk outside one morning and smell fall in the air. I can’t tell you what it smells like. Not exactly. It’s a mix of things. It’s a mix of dry grass and rain. It’s a cool breeze that points the weathervane a little to the northwest. It’s a shift in the behavior of the fox squirrels around the cabin. It’s the color of a grasshopper. It’s the reddening hue of the afternoons. It’s the clearing of the haze from the night sky. It’s a moon you can see in the daytime. It’s a lot of little things that let you know the world is changing. Time moves on by second, by minute, by hour, by day, by month, by season and we move along with it. It’s part of who we are as humans if we take time to notice, to breathe in and listen. To observe and ultimately be grateful for this life we’ve been given. Raise your glasses. Here is to summer’s final chapter.
In the meantime… live well…laugh often…love always.