Halcyon Days in Hot August

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I can remember the entire summer flying by and trying to squeeze the last drop out of every day.

 

June and July were just teasers we referred to as “summer break” between the mundane school years. Family trips to the beach and the lake, working the sweltering afternoons in cotton and hay fields, spending the sweet summer nights running around the complex between baseball games, chasing down the Yum Yum Shack for a quenching snow cone that melted immediately when it hit your tongue, mud riding in the Mule Hole Ditch, and burning every other ounce of energy in swimming pools or racing bikes.

 

And then August hit. It was always a shock when it finally arrived because I couldn’t grasp where the previous two months and majority of my break had gone. But somehow, August seemed to drag out longer than any time I had ever experienced. I always assumed it was the scorching heat that made the days seem to stick, like everything else does this time of year.

 

I believe that summer romances, at least the good ones, always take place in the better parts of August. Could be the heat getting to everyone’s head, or maybe it’s something magical that no one can explain.

 

It’s the time when the newness of summer has completely faded into a sense of effortlessness and simply being, and the inexperience of childhood lapses into a ripened understanding. Those pristine spells of swinging sunburned legs off the edge of an old wooden bridge, relishing in the Mississippi mud as it slides between your toes, and watching the sweat beads drip simultaneously from your glass and your chest, become soft recollections of serendipity. Ceiling fans stir the notion that time is still, and yet pesky flies remind us again and again that nothing is. Exhaustion brings a lull that resonates with everything but the crickets at dusk. And for a moment, everything is right.

 

“There was a time when August stretched out forever, the end of it somewhere beyond the horizon of childhood’s favorite season.”- Rick Bragg

 

Take a moment and forget about the football season countdown, the taunting Halloween decorations already strategically placed on store shelves, and school schedules ahead. . .and recognize the month of August the way God intended us to—Southern, sticky, and timeless.

 

 

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