It took place Thursday, or so I noticed after I glanced Thursday morning on the little “Chicago” calendar I kept on my kitchen counter and noticed that the wonderful month of July had expired.
I consider keeping your calendars up to date — a calendar caught on a few long-long past months looks like moldy meals in the fridge — so I flipped the web page, and there it became.
The sight arrived just like the jolt of dawn, predictable but startling. Or perhaps it’s better to evaluate it to sundown, considering up here within the high latitudes, August is summer season’s long sundown, the month when the words “Use it or lose it” begin banging in your mind with the ferocity of an autumn leaf blower.
“It’s August 1, and the temperature is fifty-six stages,” a grumpy buddy of mine tweeted Thursday, his complaint accompanied by a grumpy-looking polar-blue emoji.
“Have you noticed it’s getting darkish with the aid of 8?” any other doomsday prophet muttered.
“What’s with the lower back-to-college commercials?” someone else groused.
Yep, it’s August, the remaining complete month of summertime, sneaking up on us just like the joker at a celebration who grabs you from at the back of with a pinch.
You don’t need to have a look at a calendar to feel that August has arrived. The signs are anywhere.
One signal is the laments like the ones above.
“I never even put my sweaters away,” a person gripes, “and now it’s too late.”
“Why do I stay in an area in which summer time’s shorter than a cough?” gripes someone else.
“Why have I been wasting my summertime, once more?” someone sighs.
In August in Chicago, the laments for summer’s passing grow as loud as the cicadas, and the cicadas proper approximately now are as noisy as air-conditioning compressors.
The screaming cicadas are greater than nature’s hum. They’re sending a message: Wake up! Time’s strolling out! And you still haven’t been swimming?
Another sign of August: The light shifts.
The remarkable Southern author William Faulkner named an e-book for its moving light, proof that even in warm, muggy locations, August signals a new season lurking within the distance.
“In August in Mississippi,” Faulkner wrote in “Light in August,” the 1932 novel that has been half-read with the aid of millions of American university students, “there’s a few days someplace approximately the center of the month while there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambency, a smooth, a luminous first-class to the mild, as even though it came no longer from simply nowadays but from returned in the old classic times. … It lasts just for an afternoon or, then, it’s gone.”
In August in Chicago, that foretaste comes earlier than the middle of the month. However, the precept is equal. That gentle August light seems to radiate from lengthy in the past and a long way away, from a cold location not made for shorts and sandals and dinner within the outside.
Once you’ve sensed the shift, you can’t ignore the alarm.
June is the start of summer, a leisurely month, the preamble to the action. July is summer in full beauty and gradual motion. August, for all its languor, is the pressing starting of the stop.
“Oh, I hate these people who begin complaining in August that summer’s over,” says a chum. “We’re no longer even at the halfway factor.”
Technically, she’s accurate. Measured from overdue June through past due September — the summer referred to as astronomical — there’s more summer season left than of summertime long past. But Chicagoans have an extra practical definition of the season, which defines it because of the span from Memorial Day until Labor Day, or from the stop of school via the go back to school.
By that degree, we have just over 30 days. Five weekends. One excursion.
So now’s the time — I know I’ve issued this summons before, however each summer desires it — to resume your summertime goals.