Summer’s End


We’ve had a cool burst of weather here, and everyone is thankful. We close the windows at night. The butter is still firm in the morning after being left out. The nights are getting longer. Katydids drone their chirring refrain, the leaves of the trees swish in the cool breeze. Everyone feels this change, we know the drill. The droop of the leaves, though still green, is a telltale sign of the impending fall. A red leaf here and there. I have been anticipating this moment, but still it leaves me sad.

The other day was gorgeous–blue sky, warm sun, cool in the shade–but somehow I felt bereft. I knew motion was the only cure, so I packed our bicycles, and we did a few miles on the rail trail into New Paltz. We sailed through the canopy of green, past dragonflies and newly tilled fields. We crossed the muddy molasses of the Wallkill River, rested by its rusted trusses, strewn with spider webs. I told my son I felt a little sad, and he wondered why. I don’t feel sad, he said. That’s good, I replied.

It’s this reverse seasonal affective disorder–I think I’ve written about it here before. This hollowness is felt a bit all summer, and then reaches a pitch right before school starts when the first tinges of yellow begin. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Isn’t it a natural reaction? All of this green, everything working so hard to get to this place in time, and soon it will all decompose into the earth again. The massive die off is relentlessly marching our way. The slate will be wiped clean, and we’ll start anew next spring.

Items of Interest:

Right now I’m reading Underland by Robert Macfarlane. I had a tough time starting this because I am petrified of even reading about being in tight spaces underground. Had to skim a few bits, but Marcfarlane never disappoints. This book has a great pace, it’s fascinating, and is beautifully written.

I was given a few large elderly cucumbers and made Senfgurken. (I used Linda Ziedrich’s recipe, but this link is pretty much the same thing.) Did you make a million pickles this year, like me?

Over the summer I found a few small black mushrooms I couldn’t identify. I recently found out they were Cordyceps Ophioglossoides ,and now I’m obsessed with them. I’ll probably never find them again!

Check out the Catskill Lit Writing Festival--wish I could take more of these workshops. We need some more poetry in the world these days, don’t you think?



  1. Beautifully put, as usual. although I don’t find summer empty or hollow feeling (I have the usual SAD) I sure do echo your feelings right now.

  2. Yes! I thought I was alone in this end-of-season grieving process. I know rest is important, but it always has the post-Xmas feel where you don’t know what’s next and you’re sad the excitement is over. It’s a type of blues I can’t shake and a pit in my stomach. Lots of gentle self-care.

    And yes to poetry, words filled with beauty is precisely what is needed in our world.

  3. I am always so torn at the end of summer. Looking forward to routine as much as I mourn the loss of a lack of one. And the light….that will be missed beyond measure. Otherwise, three cheers for fall! 😉

    1. tight spaces anywhere = yikes (but maybe I should check out the book???)
    2. the Senfgurken post had me rolling and now I know what to do with those lurkers, yay!
    3. I need to connect you and my SIL on the inter webs, she is a great shroomer/forager/nature wanderer and I am baffled why I haven’t thrust you two into each other’s orbit before
    4. Amen.

    Thanks for another wonderful post!!!

    1. Kristin, thank you! I think I’m feeling better now, it being the first official day of school and all! I love fall so much, that’s the bonus.

      You might want to read The Wild Places by Macfarlane–it’s my favorite, and no tight spaces!

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