August. Here in Colorado, the deep azure blue of May, June and July has been replaced by a lighter, softer blue – as if to prepare the world for cooler weather in the weeks and months to come. As I was out in the yard with my dogs this morning, I felt a coolness to the breeze that hadn’t been there before. The fluffy billowing marshmallow-like clouds that are the hallmark of summer had seemingly overnight turned into the wispy cirrus clouds of autumn.
When I was a little girl, August was always a magical time. The Colorado State Fair is always held in the last week of August and ending around Labor Day. And this was the month that mama would gather us all up and go shopping for school clothes for the upcoming school year. Little did I know that she would max out her Montgomery Wards credit card on those trips – I just saw it as a bounty of beautiful, crisp new dresses that lovingly landed in my closet waiting to be chosen for that exciting first wearing in my new grade. I’d be so eager to meet new teachers and classmates that I could hardly wait for the first day of class – especially when I had “graduated” to an even higher grade in a brand new school.
August also marked the end of our summer freedom to laze in the backyard and watch the clouds, riding our bikes through the hills, engaging in neighborhood water fights, family vacations to far off places – all would much too soon morph into homework, class schedules, Halloween, Thanksgiving.
The leaves that gave us shade to lounge in the cool green grass would soon fall from the trees – indeed the grass itself would turn brown and dormant, waiting to be covered by blanket after blanket of snow.
The gentle warm breezes of summer would be supplanted by the cold north winds of winter. If we were fortunate enough to have an “Indian Summer”, the bone chilling winter winds would wait much later in the year to make their appearance. But the cold winds would inevitably come nonetheless.
Now that I’m (much) older, it has occurred to me that I really am in the August of my life. The deep passions and excited discoveries and “first days” of my younger years have been, well, softened into a somewhat calm acceptance of who I am becoming.
Yet, at the same time, I’m entering yet another kind of school year. One of learning new skills, meeting new people, embarking on a new graduation to a different environment. This blog, my new, still evolving website www.Judifoodi.com indulging my lifelong affection for writing and cooking and sharing are all steps in my matriculation into that different life.
While I feel some pangs of sadness at saying goodbye to some of the people and situations and lifestyles that were part of my life’s spring and summer, at this stage I am once again feeling the excitement of meeting new teachers, sharing with new “classmates”. The thrill of learning is still strong within me as I enter into this August time of life. And oh, the lessons to come fill me with a sense of wonder. The childlike joy of realizing new talents, the exuberance of sharing, and the gratitude for oh so patient teachers – all give me hope for this daring new season.
My wish for you, gentle reader, is that no matter what season of life you are in, is that you too will be trying on “new clothes” as it were – that you will all revel in new pleasures, that you will never stop learning or sharing… and I can’t wait to meet you all.