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23 September, 2010

The Wayning Days of Summer

My dad loved the first breath of Fall. One night snaps cool, and Dad could smell it coming. After months of Virginia heat, his was the harbinge he and everyone else welcomed: the crisp breeze, a cold heavy dew-morning, the sudden blush of a leaf. The promise of Autumn to make up for August.

But in the meantime, adore the warm days all the more. Watch the sun fall down, burrow underground and turn into carrots and taters, dazzle off waters and birds, and weave itself into spiderwebs. Knowing that the heat daze is nearing its end makes it bearable, the mind and soul awaken to search for more evidence of the coming coolness.

Like the nights. On clear evenings, with no cloud blanket to hold hot air next to the earth, the warmth dissipates rapidly. Cold sky seems clearer, the universe bigger. Dad's phrase for the sky on such nights was "tangible clarity," and I love that description, reserving it for nice nights like that and precious little else.

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