In June it rained too much, and July was too hot, Then finally August blew in with weather so cool and forgiving it woke us all out of our grousing and reminded us that this season we wait for all year was almost over.
Crickets provided the soundtrack to our nights in August and the crows began gathering on our rooftops. The crickets will go silent, a few at first and finally all, but the crows will stay on, seeming always to scold and scold and scold us the way they do. This morning when I woke there they were again, out on maneuvers, swooping from branch to branch, causing two small yellow bird to dart and flutter like a pair of nervous hostesses.
I have accomplished very little on this long weekend: Didn’t read my book, didn’t work on my column, didn’t script all the emails and memos for the non-profit I give the best part of my waking hours to these days.
I didn’t even write in my diary.
What I mostly did was sleep: nine hours one night, ten another, a whopping 11 hours on the third. One morning I got up long enough to eat and make the bed, then ended up falling onto a different bed in another room where I slept for two more hours.
We drive north to a lake in New Hampshire most weekends and, for the last ten weekends, our kids have done that too. It was never the sun that woke me on those Saturday mornings; it was the sound of our bedroom doorknob turning and then the thudding of two little feet. I would open my eyes to see a small face not six inches from my own.
Later, the screen door would bang as someone set off for a run. The coffee maker would churn into life. A baby would emerge toddling about and saying “Hiiii!’ to the animate and the inanimate alike. It is very nearly her only word so she gives it a good workout.
By night, a lot of meat got grilled and a few bonfire go lit. We burned the marshmallows. We melted the Hershey squares. By day, canoes and kayaks set out on the water, and everyone played a little whiffle ball.
It’s hard to know what your harvest has been at summer’s end. You wish you could ask someone how to find and hold it in your hands..
We caught a fish once and let him go.
Maybe he could have explained it to us before disappearing again with a flick of his tail.
They all went home anyway and here we were this weekend, just David and I, with our friends the crows, and the goldenrod and a swim raft rocking in a quieter lake.