Purple petalled flower on a in a bed of green leaves

2023 Grateful 16: Summer

It’s 26 degrees at 12 minutes past 5 on the evening of October 14. Tomorrow, my phone tells me, temperatures will plunge reaching a daily high of 11 degrees.

Chatting to a neighbour earlier, I caught myself complaining that our summer was going to end. Abruptly. On the morrow.

I caught myself.

I caught myself because when I thought about it, I had nothing to complain about.

I can’t remember the last time we had these temperatures this late in the year.

The trees are only beginning to turn, about four weeks behind schedule, by my reckoning.

The roses are still in bloom.

And the bush whose name I can never remember is starting to flower for the third time this year.

Rather than the gradual cooling that I’ve grown used to, that slow slide from hot to balmy to cool to cold, this year it seems as if we will step off the edge.

One. Sharp. Sudden. Shock.

Like when someone turns on a hot tap in the kitchen and the shower runs cold.

My dad, God rest him, was a great fan of doing things like they’d always been done. If it wasn’t broken, why fix it?

No matter how hot the weather was or how early the summer came, he would never stop wearing a vest until he’d seen out the month of May. To do so, he said, was to open the door to all sorts of chest complaints. There might well have been something in that, considering he died two Mays short of a 100.

Things are not the same.

Not since he died.

Mad things are happening in the world.

Scary things.

Out there.

And yes, of course, I know that the loss of one good man didn’t upset the balance of righteousness. But now that he is gone, the world for me is a little scarier, a little less secure, and a lot different.

Am grateful that this summer and his summer lasted so long.


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