I am surprised every year at how I greet the month of August with such conflicting feelings. Living in the Midwest, August was a month to be endured. After surviving the incredible heat and humidity of July, we turned the calendar over to find Another Month More. August was the filler, that space between the fun things of summer and the start of school. It was the month full of days that all the kids hope will go really, really slow. It never does, though. Instead, August is a month filled with shopping for things that kids don’t really want (clothes, Trapper Keepers, and pencils), leaving them to find that school is starting all too soon.
In Colorado, though, August is less a filler than a headlong rush to back-to-school. Some schools started as early as this week, and many will start on Monday. To me, with my Iowa-born sense of time, where school starts the day after Labor Day and ends before Memorial Day, it seems way too early. That seems like a shame, too, as the heat of June gives way to the rains and cool weather of July and August. The Colorado countryside is green, the days are beautiful, and yet it’s time to go back inside.
Oddly, too, when school starts again in the fall, I always feel a little bit left out. I guess I enjoyed school, although it’s not like I long to go back. There’s something satisfying in the fall coming, in the fresh promise of a new tablet or sheaf of loose leaf paper, in a chance to start over with new classmates and new teachers, to learn something new and interesting.
So, here’s to August, hot and humid or cool and rainy, and to the approach of a new season of learning and a new crop of kindergarteners going out into the world on their own for the first time. The circle of life continues, with us oldies watching from the sidelines and cheering you on.