In his journal entry on August 18, 1853, Thoreau laments the sense of lateness that overcomes him this time of year, feeling like he hasn’t done anything and it’s too late to do anything now. He talks about the approaching “night of the year,” and how nature reproves us that we’ve fallen behind.
Oh, I can relate to that!
This time of year — late summer, tickling the early fall — gives me the doldrums. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sad to see summer end. I’m ready for winter, ready for the quiet hibernation. I just start to feel like I wasted the short summer months, that I didn’t do enough, and that now in this season of reaping what I’ve sown, there’s no harvest.
This year it’s hitting me harder, I think, because I legitimately didn’t do anything. This was the year of COVID-19, and we were on lockdown. All my travel plans were canceled. Friendly lunches, date nights and playdates were canceled for months until things started opening back up again and we learned how to be safe (or at least safer) outside our homes.
In a few weeks, when the leaves are turning, I’ll be reinvigorated. I love the fall. But right now, in the late summer, I’m feeling a bit sad. Another summer has passed, and even if I live to a ripe old age, I have so few of them left.
I’m determined to make the best of the remaining weeks of summer. Walks outside, family conversations on the deck, gathering bits of dried plants for art projects — whatever I can do to capture these moments in positive ways and build up my store of memories for winter.