As the summer begins to wind down, many of us will wonder, “What did I do? Where did I go? Did I have any fun? Was it an enjoyable summer?” William Shakespeare wrote, “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
For those of us who live in the Midwest or in any city that gets all four seasons, we can simply sigh and say, “Amen,” to his quote. Summer is just too short. We wonder if we’ve had the opportunity to wear all of our summer wear before….well you know. It’s too hard to write. The chill, the cold, the snow and so on and so on.
August is the time to get in gear for the serious business ahead. Whether one is an educator or a parent, August means the beginning of school in most of the districts. It is time to give attention to our children as we buy those supplies, new school uniforms or clothes and get those haircuts to make them look presentable for the new. They will probably be going to a new grade, a new teacher and maybe even to a new school.
August is the month when we go from having overly zealous fun to a stark seriousness which signals that the party is over. It is time to put away the swim gear, the flip flops and the beach toys. It is also time to pull out the pencils, pens, rulers, protractors, notebooks and clean paper and buckle down to learning or assist those who will be learning. Our faces will go from sunny smiles to game face on as we proceed into the inevitable changes of autumn.
We know that after August, then comes Labor Day. The days shorten and the darkness comes earlier. This a wake-up call that says, ‘Hope you took a lot of pictures because summer 2015 is just about to become history.’
I am reminded of a children’s story that a colleague shared with me. I don’t know the title but in essence, this animal character was asking his neighbors for food during the winter. They asked him what he’d been doing while everyone else was out working and storing up for the cold months. He answered, “Dancing.” They cruelly replied, “Then you need to dance through the winter.”
So as reality sets in and we put the summer in our rear view mirrors, we have to put away our dancing shoes and fun gear and lean towards Hesiod’s advice. He said, “It will not always be summer; build barns.”
Lynn M. August 1, 2015