I like August. A lot of people moan about it being the end of summer, but I think of it as a different phase of summer. As a kid, I always looked forward to August because it's my birthday month. School didn't start until after my birthday, which is late in the month, so when August rolled around I knew I still had time for fun before the dreaded school shopping started!
Even though we're still seeing temperatures in the high 80's, the heat just isn't as intense as it was a few weeks ago. Already there's a different slant to the sunlight. It's not too hot to go for a run at 9am. After the sun goes down, it's cool enough to wear jeans. It's still summer but it's a bit more enjoyable than the sticky days and hot nights of July.
Here in Montana, this is fire season. Thank goodness it's not nearly as bad as last year, but there's still a smokey haze that prevents the mountains from being seen clearly and burns my lungs if I run outside.
August is also the birthday month of my sweet dog Ritz, who I lost at the end of May. He would have been eight this year. I've been thinking of having a memorial service on his birthday. His death was so unexpected that it didn't occur to me to have one at the time. His absence around the house is still so large.
Earlier this week I posted a FaceBook status that said "I have decided that this summer shall be known as The Summer of Sadness and when it's over we will never speak of it again." This summer has been tough for a number of reasons. You know how it is, once one thing goes wrong it seems like everything goes wrong. I was touched by the responses from my friends. Some days it feels like I'm the only one in the world who has ever been this sad. My favorite comment was "Every one must have a summer of sadness as a barometer for better days. I am sorry this is your summer." My friends understand and that's a great comfort to me.
Deep down inside, I know that I will recover and things will pan out for me. Sometimes it's easier to see that than others. I have a big trip planned for later this month. To celebrate my 35th birthday, my other half and I are going to Colorado to see my favorite band in the world (Dave Matthews Band) for two nights in a row. It's at the end of the month, the end of the summer, the end of my roller derby season. To say I'm looking forward to it is an understatement. Even though I normally don't celebrate the end of summer, I think this year I'll welcome it as another step forward.