Sadness to Summer

by Kim R.

There’s a sadness to summer. It’s more of a whisper, a feeling that flits by on wings of a butterfly, barely perceptible. Sometimes it stays a while, lingering on a pink flower, threatening to suck out every last ounce of life nectar. It wafts in with the closing of a garage door--that odorous blend of lawn mower and heat. It’s not a pleasant smell, but it is a summer smell, so it is welcome. 

The sadness is not crushing. It is a melancholy that shows up at sunset when the sunset starts to come earlier each evening. It is a longing for one more hour, day, week, month of this. The crunchy lawns with green blades fading to brown. The deep blue skies and the chirping and croaking and humming and droning. The dragonflies dancing on air, a connection to hundreds of summers ago when I wonder if people felt this same sadness even back then. 

Do the birds and frogs and cicadas and grasshoppers feel the sadness, too? Do they long for another minute, hour, day, or week? Does the hummingbird that darts in and out of perception know the sadness? Does it flit so quickly in an attempt to evade the loss of another warm minute, a deep blue hour, or a week to dance with dragonflies? And when the hummingbird navigates south and butterflies leave because their source of life nectar ceases to bloom, and when there is a chill in the air that tells the trees to change, the sadness stops flitting. It lingers longer and then settles in with a heaviness that takes me by surprise and those butterflies and hummingbirds become a distant memory. I cover the sadness with long sleeves and pants and boots and a jacket, knowing that it will soon set in as a frozen mass, not to be thawed until six months later when the butterflies and hummingbirds and deep blue return and I can once again swat at the pesky sadness like a mosquito.