Hi, August. It’s me.
Listen, I’m not going to beat around the bush on this one. I’m just going to dive in and let you know . . .
It’s over between us. I know I waited until the end of your days to tell you this, but I was really hoping you and I could have worked things out – maybe come to some sort of agreement on the nature of our relationship. That seems to be out of the question now.
Each year, I hope to look forward to your arrival, but you are very skilled at trying my patience – and as quickly as my expectations rise, you find every opportunity to walk all over them.
Take my impatiens. Please. When I first saw that they weren’t thriving, that their stems were barren of leaves, I blamed myself (not enough water). Then I blamed the slugs (they had to be munching all night). And then I learned about the fungus. Maybe you didn’t create the fungus, but your heat, humidity, and rain games certainly didn’t help.
Don’t think the other plants escaped your games. It seems that as soon as August 1 arrives, the entire garden is overgrown – and I do all I can to restrain myself from ripping everything out of the ground and starting from scratch. The gomphrena is flopped over; the petunias are long and leggy; and the four o’clocks are turning to seed.
By the way, just so you know, I planted these a few years ago, as a reminder of the four o’clocks that bloomed at my childhood home. I thought it was cool that the flowers opened up in the late afternoon. I still think it’s cool. I also happen to like the seeds, which are shaped like mini-finials. I just don’t want to see them now – but everything always has to be on your time schedule, doesn’t it?
Oh, and don’t think I haven’t noticed all of the chewed leaves. Nice touch, that one. I can’t even see what’s eating them. All I know is that you must have had something to do with it. What’s that? You’re blaming the mild winter for the insect explosion? That is so typical of you. For once, be responsible for at least one thing – it’s not like you have a holiday to distract you.
And speaking of holidays, just because you don’t have one is no reason to rob three months of holidays for your benefit. Thanks to your relentless rush-rush philosophy, retailers feel compelled to assault the senses with displays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas items.
Everything in it’s own time. It’s a simple lesson – and you should learn it.
And what’s with the game of sunlight and shadows? As soon as you arrive, just as I’m settled into my summer groove, there you are – changing the color of the sunlight, making it more orangey golden than white hot, and then moving the shadows to their fall and winter locations. Hello – I still have flowers that require sunlight and you have once again eclipsed them with your needs.
I think that sums you up. You take and take and take – and you never give. It’s always all about you and what you have to do before September arrives.
Well, let me make this clear. You already know that I work in a school system, and September means that I return to the land of reality. That means students and needs, meetings and needs, parents and needs, and paperwork and needs. I don’t see garden and needs on that list. Do you?
So, if it’s not too much trouble, let me have my summer to re-energize, to sow, to weed, to play in the dirt. Let it feel endless, just like it used to when I was a kid. And for the love of God, stop breathing down my neck and telling me that autumn and frost dates are coming (I’ve already seen some of the leaves changing colors. Really?) and that it’s time to pack up the terracotta pots, to dig and save the tropicals, and to cover the pool.
What’s that? The watermelon? I see. You heard about the watermelon? Yes, Joe and I visited a farmers’ market and purchased a Sugar Baby watermelon – and, I admit, it was the sweetest, reddest, juiciest, most spectacular watermelon – seeds and all – that I have had in a very long time.
You want credit for that? Okay, fine – I’ll give you credit. You did a nice job with the watermelon.
And? What? The portulaca? Yes, they were tremendous this year, and I really must plant more of them next year. You certainly outdid yourself with the portulaca.
Okay, fine. Fine. You made your point. There’s no need to keep hammering it home. I get it. We had our good times. You complete my season — is that what you want to hear? Satisfied now?
I’ll, um . . . I’ll see you next year.