That was the first question Joe, my partner, asked me the other day. At first, I didn’t think anything was wrong, other than I felt a little sluggish and unmotivated to do anything. Then I looked at the calendar. August.
I’m quite conflicted when it comes to the 8th month of the year. I know it’s still summer, which I’m thrilled about, but inside I feel dread and sadness, as if the clock has begun ticking on the garden around me. And once that thought takes hold, all other melancholic ideas start to sprout. To put it simply, I’m summer saturated.
For starters, everything in the yard looks overgrown. The Sunflowers can’t stretch any higher, and they are so crowded and top heavy that they are all falling over at odd slants. The leaves on the trees are dull green. Most of the annuals look tired. The grass is burnt. The Hydrangea flower heads have started to fade away. Everything looks sloppy. My impulse is to go out there and rip everything out of the ground and start all over again with new seedlings. But that would be ridiculous. As it is, the days of these plants are already numbered.
Then there is the change in shadow. As the Earth and Sun have done their celestial dance on the way to the autumnal equinox, I have noticed that where there once was sun, there is now shade. Just ask the Gazanias. A week ago, they basked in hours and hours of summer sun. Now, the shadow of the house lingers a little longer over their bed.
And let’s not forget about the quiet changes in weather. While the days are still warm, nighttime temperatures have begun their subtle decline. On some mornings, I can smell the faintest whisp of fall in the air.
That is, perhaps, where most of my hostility toward August stems from: I know what’s coming. Leaves will start to change, tropicals will have to be dug and stored for the winter, terracotta pots will need to be cleaned and packed away, nights will become longer. I can practically feel Light Deprivation Disorder bubbling up.