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LONG DAYS AND SHORT SEASONS
August 8, 2007
 
Hope is it that each day can seem long and lazy, but the summer itself seems impossibly brief? How is it that the Fourth of July seems a comfortable distance in the future in mid-June but only a minute or two in the past from where we are now, almost mid-August?

At breakneck speed, we hurtle toward autumn. School supplies in the dollar store. Fall fashions in the Style section, and in the catalogues that arrive daily. A solstice that gave us the longest day of the year is over, and the darkness creeps in, a little earlier each evening. We will try to cheat it with Daylight Saving Time, and we will do it for a longer time this year, but it triumphs in the end: cold, dark nights will finish the year.

But not quite. With only a few days left on the calendar, the turning will take place again: a tiny green kernel of life amid the darkness of the year's dying. None of us will notice, not until sometime in February when somebody remarks upon the fact that it's no longer pitch dark at six in the evening. But Yes, we will say, Spring is coming. And it will not be long after that before the first flowers appear, with the snow still on the ground.

How full the change of the seasons is, full both of elegy and of promise. And how unbearable a defeat each ending would be, without all those beginnings.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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