Stretching Exercises

Robert hits the nail on the head once again – Paul Hock

“Stretching exercises”

It is a day with more than a hint of fall in the air, a chill wind is blowing from the north, the lake is a darkish green and the air is filled with autumnal sunlight. Seagulls have begun congregating in dazzling white flocks on the beach and lake, a sure sign they are getting ready to migrate though many will make it no farther than the town dump a few miles east of here.

I have never gotten used to the fact that summer flies by like fine sand in the wind. No matter how often I tell myself to be prepared for it to end, it still always comes as a shock and disappointment. I feel like I have been shortchanged of time.

When I was a kid I had tricks to stretch time and ease the pain of summer winding down. Towards the end of August when September and school were clearly looming and there were no more thoughts of weeks and weeks of summer still to come, I would begin counting the days and hours that were left before school was to begin. I would also count the first day of school as the last day of summer because we would spend our time getting organized and be let out early. School did not really begin until the second day.

The end of summer has a special poignancy when you are north of 70 and headed towards 80. The thought crosses your mind that there are a limited number of summers left. You no longer say with the same confidence that there is always next summer and the summer after that. Maybe there will be and maybe not, and so I still perform my stretching exercises. Since retirement, I have stayed at the cottage until well after Labour Day and now count September as a summer month, and science is on my side. The autumnal equinox which marks the arrival of autumn in the northern hemisphere occurs about September 23. And so you see I have several weeks of summer left, and days and days and days.

Bob Miller
Southampton
September 3, 2017

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