Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Summertime Is Still In The Air!

                 For myriad reasons a feeling of growing melancholia takes a hold of my emotional well-being during this particularly time of year. Used to think that it had to do with the climactic change of seasons. To perhaps overextend a metaphor, that is in the neighborhood but not quite at the front door of the matter. The point begins during Labor Day Weekend roughly and extends through mid September. I will be in public shopping and either on a radio commercial or through somebody at the cash register there will inevitably mention of summer being over.

             Sometimes its not as clear as it once was that most people realize the beginning of the autumnal equinox actually falls on September 21'st-three weeks after the Labor Day holiday weekend. The easiest answer to this would be that the concept of summer being over in the beginning of September is entirely corporate. Most schools are back in session and there seems to be enormous pressure for stores to begin stocking Halloween items to take advantage of holiday sales. These are easily observable to any American-regardless of the boundaries between states. Yet its far from the be all and end all of the story.

               The photograph you see above you was taken less than half a day ago. Through the cameras eyes this is not dissimilar to a photo taken in the same place and location in May,June,July and August. Foliage changes have not emerged to an even adequate degree and the feeling in the air is definitely in the mode of summer. Personally I've grown to loath the almost celebratory tone with which people around me seem to greet the end of the summer season. Summer in the state of Maine is an extremely special time for me. And seems to be for many of those same people who so quickly make mention of the conclusion of the season.

                  One reason for my discontent with such attitudes is that the area of the state I have always lived in has very intense (and often frightening) seasonal contrasts. Someone such as myself feels as a squirrel to a hollow log most of the summer-hiding acorns away for the coming harshness of winter-again metaphorically of course. Another is the more obvious issue of mobility. Barring accident,no weather conditions in the state of Maine would ever cause the cancellation of people's jobs or special events in the summer months the same way..say a 'Nor Easter would.  So why in an area oriented around summer tourism and the seasonal mobility of person would there be such an enormous and temporary embrace of a transitional season to a time of year that creates little but physical hardship for its residence? 

                  There is a saying used heavily by the antiwar and counter-cultural movements of the late 1960's: the personal is political. At least where I live,a very analytical person such as myself probably draws a similarly sociopolitical take on such unusual reactions to seasonal changes. Perhaps people want to find ways to make themselves unhappy. That they've forgotten how to find joy in the embrace of a green oak tree of the petals of a flower in the modern working world. Since winter in what essentially amounts to a Tundra climate would obviously create more physical labor for a person,could be that hoping for such conditions is a sign of merely individual aspirations aimed too low. At any rate,while summer is still with us these are questions worth people pondering.

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