August 22, 2011

Walking After Midnight

Late August nights find me torn between contentment and mourning, for I know it is ending: summer. Fall is creeping in, at first a threat and then, inevitably, a fact. The light has changed, and the warm, saturating haze of summer days gives way to the cold edged evenings of coming September. The water cools and the nettles vanish, and with them, the ease I find overtakes me in June and July. There are hot days left, I know, and on those that the humidity holds its ground I could almost convince myself that it's not over yet. I harvest butternut squash from the quickly waning summer garden, and the tomatoes ripen on dry, brown vines. I do love autumn in Mathews--the wild persimmons and the rashes of brown and red in the island meadows, but for me, summer is the magic time. I find myself a bit nostalgic for weeks only just past. It has been a good, strange summer. Bonnaroo and Pittsburgh, hot District nights, and long sojourns here, on Gwynn's Island, a time I spent swimming at Tin Can Alley, biking along the lanes, and sitting comfortably at the new bar at Southwind, drinking cold pints of Legend Brown and Lager while listening to the Usual Suspects, Runaway String Band, and Mixed Grill. I can't complain about that kind of summer. The cooling days make it easier to leave, to return to school and DC friends and the little life I've built for myself three hours north of where I sit now, watching the sun bow out to darkness over Barn Creek. But I am sad to leave now, as I am every time, at any time of year and in any circumstance. My car will leave Mathews with Virginia plates, an admission on my part to my love for this place, and my anticipation of my return.

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