Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August Silver

The second half of the year is almost invariably better than the first half—stronger, fuller, more complete. September is a very fine month—summer without the heat and glare—and every part of autumn is a new crescendo of subtle perfection. On the other hand, many parts of spring merely ache in anticipation of other, better things to come.

Nevertheless, we greet the arrival of August with more than a tinge of melancholy. This is summer at its best—but also summer on the point of vanishing. The state fair, the trip up north, the end-of-summer boule party, Labor Day… The thought grips us that we haven’t enjoyed summer enough—haven’t given it our all.

I have spent the summer listening to the sounds of the neighbor kids, Hayden, Max, and Cooper, playing in their driveway about ten feet from my “office” window. To this pleasant cacophony we must add the less agreeable sounds of the chain-saw artist who spent the month of July turning the ten-foot stump of a cottonwood tree across the street into a silver, blue-eyed dragon.

He removed the scaffolding only yesterday—and as luck would have it, today the tree trimmers for the power company arrived in force with their chain saws to clear all the branches away from the power lines in the backyard. They’ll be back tomorrow to haul away the branches and grind them up. Oh boy.

But when the foreman took his leave he informed me that we have an opossum nesting in our silver maple tree. He showed me a photo he took with his cell phone. Long pink snout, tiny teeth. I guess we could call this a silver lining?

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