I have been dreaming of bluebirds and rainbows and dreams coming true; caught up, I suppose, in the Olympics and the heat of this summer, with the wishes and wants and the realities of life that are often not quite what our storybook editions tell.
August is my least favorite month of the year. While I try to find the beauty and blessings of each month, August, ah, August is dreaded to me. It always feels to me like August is waiting for something else. The flowers are faded, the days beginning to shorten, even the squirrels lethargic as the crickets and tree frogs begin their chorus. It is usually the hottest month here, although in a summer that IS the hottest one on record, this August is just more of the same. The dog days of summer of have been barking for two months.
As a child, August meant September and September meant the starting of school. A shy and bookish child, I loved school and couldn’t wait for the first day to happen. My only solace was spending the dog days of summer reading all the books I could get my hands on. They took me away to other times and places; into the Sherwood Forest or atop Heidi’s mountain. I could be Clara Barton, Molly Pitcher or Joan of Arc. As I grew older, books grew with me. I discovered Jane Eyre in my mother’s cedar chest, then Random Harvest. Baby sitting the younger children who lived in our neighborhood gave me money (at 50 cents and hour) and off I would go, walking eight blocks up and eight blocks back to deposit a whopping $3 into my banking account, saving fifty cents to buy a book, then staying up all night reading classics like Gone With the Wind. Have you ever stayed up all night reading a book?
I went out walking about suddenly greener pastures here along the Cutoff following yesterday’s rain. I found this little bluebird of happiness sitting on the deck. She pleasantly posed for a photo shoot and then told me to seize August with all I have; my books and my imagination . . . and so, I will finding the books that once upon a time took me over the rainbow.
It occurred to me, whist looking for my rainbow, that I haven’t posed any questions in quite a long while, so, I will ask some now, realizing that some of you spend August in warmth and sunshine and some of you are in the last stages of winter.
What is August to you?
What books capture your “August” imaginations?
This is the late Eva Cassidy’s rendition of Over the Rainbow. I hope you will enjoy it.