Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bittersweet and beautiful.

August is such a bittersweet time of year. It’s still hot outside – even bringing some of the stickiest, most sweltering days of the summer – the pools are still open, there are still a few barbecues to be had. There’s just something different in the air, though; and even while my hair clings to the nape of my neck and two fans are blasting in my small bedroom, I can never escape the feeling that autumn is peeking its nose around the corner. The back to school supplies and sales have been slowly mounting around town since mid-July, but the real jolt came when I popped into Michael’s yesterday and was greeted by aisles and aisles of Halloween accoutrements. Halloween!(!!!)

It’s that feeling of being stuck between waiting for (or, in light of commercialism, being rushed toward) the season ahead while still wanting to cling to those final, achingly nostalgic days of heat and lingering daylight hours. And freedom! Isn’t it funny how even after the quintessential “summer vacation” becomes a thing of the past (I’m still in graduate school, but I worked and took classes full-time throughout the summer), there’s still such a feeling of liberation and joyfulness that comes along with the summer months? The idea of the impending chilliness, the shortening days, the gray skies, and the bare trees that are lurking just ahead makes me want to hold on to these last weeks of summer with all of my might – winter be damned!

To be honest, though, I’m more than a little excited for the coming season: the changing leaves, the cooler nights that make the coziness of worn jeans and snuggly scarves and cardigans a requirement, more excuses to cuddle up with a book and a huge mug of tea, the chance to explore D.C. and Baltimore without being soaked in sweat and grime, and above all, another very important and exciting change – the beginning of my first full-time, semester-long, Big Girl student teaching experience.

And so, I’m left reminding myself that what is bittersweet is often also beautiful (a lesson learned, like so many others, from books), and trying to enjoy these changes both in the season and in my life rather than wishing to halt them, or to rush them forward.

 {On a bridge in Centennial Park, in Ellicott City. My boyfriend and I visited here earlier in the summer. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be as the leaves begin to change.}

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