Labor Day has come and gone. School is in full swing. Days grow shorter by two and three minutes every 24 hours. Shadows grow longer so much sooner.
Summer is fading away.
I will miss the whiff of burgers grilling in a backyard as I cruise through a neighborhood on my way home after a long ride. I want to pull over to the curb and just let that smell nourish me.
The sound of a lawn mower in the distance is a droan I cherish. Laura loves the smell of freshly cut grass. Sunlight dappling on us through trees rich with leaves is a glorious sight. Nothing is as calming as laying on blanket holding my wife and staring in wonder at the galaxy of stars while thanking my Savior for the galaxy of blessings He bestows on us through His grace.
A good sweat is so pure and honest. People calling us crazy for being out in the 100 degree heat pedaling away is the right kind of insanity – surely better than the insanity from riding in 20 degree cold. It’s fun to be out battling the heat and look to the fields to find cows standing in the ponds seeking relief. Seeing small frogs jump from the gravel roads we ride into pools of water is a synchronized delight. Running the trails at Stateland with hoards of grasshoppers jumping in front of us seems as though our every step is being heralded. The acoustic talents of the cicada drowning out our conversation is all but lost now.
As we cruise through river bottom land in early summer, we glory in the wheat waving in the wind awaiting harvest. Watching a field of corn grow from green buds to tall stalks along the road we use for cycling intervals is a summer ritual. Laura measures her fitness by the same leaps those corn stalks make throughout the summer.
Locally-grown corn can’t be beat. Throw in some strawberries topped with Cool Whip for dessert and you’ve made us happy. Sitting on the curb enjoying a Juice Stop smoothie with Laura and Rocket is a simple pleasure. Can a Coke over ice taste any better than in the summer?
A summer tan looks so good. Walking an empty golf course on a hot summer afternoon with a friend is about as good as it gets. Of course floating in a swimming pool is an awfully good feeling too. Even better is staying in the water long enough for my skin to wrinkle. I know I will be yearning soon to hear the sound of flip-flops.
The stillness of an early summer evening that makes the water of Lake Shawnee a mirror will soon no longer reflect the brilliant white sails of the C Scows in competition. The fishermen on Westside Drive will dwindle to just a hardy few.
We’ll miss summer storms with lightening filling the sky. Getting caught in one and racing home is a scary but electrifying rush. The sight of steam rising from sun-baked pavement after a brief rain can be eerie in a satisfying way. The sky so brilliantly clear after a storm has passed is a sight to behold just as the break from the heat is refreshing.
With the last days of summer so near, I already miss the roads sticky with heat-melted tar and the disappointment of coming upon a freshly chip-and-sealed road. Mosquitos have been few this summer, but there have been plenty of spider webs wrapping around us and then stringing along as we hit trails before anyone has passed.
Despite it all, there’s always that feeling of relief that comes when a door is opened and the rush of air-conditioned air hits. I’ll mourn the day I have to come in from the cold to feel the warmth that comes from something besides the sun.
Yes, summer is fading. I’ll miss it all especially wearing close to nothing at all.