Sitting on the island that is the Sunday before Labor Day, I became reflective. Time to put away the deck shoes and the white linen trousers. Autumn is coming. Never mind the fact that there are still three weeks of summer left on the scientific calendar that affords us the seasons. I have been back at school now for three weeks, and the length of the day is now described by a bell system. The sun keeps going down later, or so I'm told, since I tend to be going to bed earlier and earlier anyway. I am reminded of the fury my son allowed to pour out of him when, in July, Back To School advertising circulars started arriving in our mailbox. What are the seasons for, anyway?
Exacerbated as things are by living in sunny California, I find myself wondering what will happen over the next twenty years or so as temperatures continue to rise and sea levels change. I used to know that it was time to get ready to head back to school because there were leaves falling onto the ground. I suspect it was some wiseacre who suggested, way back when, that we name the season for the verb. The same knucklehead who say flowers springing up through the oh-so-recently dormant earth and suggested a similar strategy.
All of which suggests that trying to figure out what page the calendar is on by just looking outside may not be the best play. Outside my window the sun is shining and there is a rustle in the leaves on the trees still stubbornly clinging to their mostly green leaves. College football has roared back to life, and we are being promised exciting pennant races down the stretch for baseball fans.
And still I find myself contemplating deck shoes and white linen pants. There was a time when heading back to school meant putting on that extra layer and remembering to wear a shirt with a collar, since that's my teacher uniform. Instead, I find myself teaching PE three out of five days this year, giving my T-shirt collection that many more days a week to shine. I have long ago become accustomed to having Halloween being the hottest day of the year, primarily because it coincides with our sadistic urges to have children dressed primarily in black with rubber masks over their heads march around the block. A stark contrast from my own childhood memories of that first snowfall dropping in on the last day of October, just to take the level of trick or treating up a notch or two.
And what's more confounding is the lack of Jerry Lewis. How can summer end without a telethon? I am telling you now that life as I once knew it has come loose from its moorings and we are cast adrift in time and space.
Living on the edge with everyone else.