Last Friday, I took the ferry back from Bainbridge and watched a red sun slip behind the Olympic range. A perfect moment in a shamefully beautiful corner of the world — but something was amiss. I turned to a friend and asked, “What time is it?”
She looked at her phone. “7:45. Too early for the sun to be going down.”
Quickening days are the first indicator of what’s to come. I love fall, don’t get me wrong — turning leaves and snuggly sweaters and low light cutting through crisp air. It’s a season of unwinding, preparing for dormancy. After the go-go-go of summer, fall is a much-needed letdown.
But I’m not ready for dormancy. Somehow when I had my back turned, summer slipped away.
The hammock colony stares at us from the backyard, neglected, colorful cocoons swaying with no occupants. House projects remain only grand ambitions. The local lake taunts from a distance, unvisited. Edits to my book — oh man, remember how I was going to have that done by July 1? HAHAHAH.
When I look back over the summer, the only thing I can remember doing? Work. Work consumed all, bored into every facet of my brain, and while I wasn’t paying attention, summer ticked on.
I know, objectively, that that’s not true — I did things other than work. I spent time with friends and family. I took a beach trip, got some fly fishing in. Why, next week we even get to go on a vacation — a final “hoorah” to end the season.
But I swear when I woke up yesterday, it was June. Last night I wrapped up in my heavy sweatpants and hoodie. This morning when I got up for my morning run, 5:45 had gone dark. I blinked and three months disappeared. That’s the long con of time, isn’t it? It tricks you into thinking it’s infinite, but as you get older, you stop paying attention for just one second and half a year is gone.