August, Die She Must

Fair warning: this title, borrowed from Simon and Garfunkel, captures exactly what I’m going to try to explain here, and it does so in only four words—while I will undoubtedly use many more. (If you want to stop reading right now, feel free.)

But even if they’ve already captured the concept, August deserves more attention than that. The summer equinox may be when the sun actually starts setting and rising later, but this is the time of year when we are forced to accept the reality: summer is winding down. It’s when we remember all those still-undone February dreams, accepting that we won’t actually fit in absolutely everything we had planned—because part of the joy is slowing down and savoring, rather than madly rushing from one exciting thing to another.

This year I started August in Hawaii, because I could still taste the regrets of 2012; Paul came home right after the Pacific Cup, and we both realized it had been a missed opportunity to linger afterward. That’s why I abandoned a New England summer in its prime for ten days in a year-round tropical paradise.

Oahu locals have summer weather year-round, so perhaps August isn’t quite so valuable to them—at least for those of us who don’t have to go back to school in September. But even under a tropical sky, Simon and Garfunkel’s words still rang true. August won’t last forever no matter where we spend it.

Back home again, the burning question this time of the year is: how to fit it all in? Evening sails, while the sunset is still late enough that we don’t have to rush back to the mooring. Weekend cruises. After-paddle swims. Lazy Sundays on the porch, or in a shaded cockpit. So many pleasures, so few days left. All we can do is pack each one chock-full of what we love best—and put off until the fall anything that can possibly wait.

Here’s to August! 

(And thanks for continuing to read, even if I’m not as efficient with my words as Simon and Garfunkel.)

2 Replies to “August, Die She Must”

  1. August is a schizophrenic month for me – it’s stinky hot here mostly, but the leaves are falling and in the very early morning it has that “fall feel” that so reminds me of September when the weather gets cooler. I really look forward to September (both here and in New England) because by the end of August – even though I swear to myself in January when I am riding outside when it is 35 degrees, I will not complain no matter how hot it gets in August – I finally cave and scream I can’t take it any more! So yeah, let’s raise a glass at Jubilee to the passing of August.

  2. Alex, August is the main reason I don’t live in Annapolis! But it’s even been stinky hot here this week, so I’m looking forward to the cooldown (while also remembering February wishes for heat of any sort) too.

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