The sun's shining, the lake is smooth like glass, people are fishing, water-skiing... but don't kid yourself, summer is over. Especially for those of us in the north. (We're in central B.C., but for the sake of argument, let's say "north" includes everywhere north of the mid-States) The end of summer means more cloudy days, cold weather, rain and finally five to six months of winter. No more warm, lazy days laying in the sun, sipping cold drinks with fancy names, and hearing children's laughter from the lake. The end of summer means that in short order we'll be shoveling snow, thawing our locks, and bungling up so tightly that bending over to tie up our boots is near to impossible.
Ba humbug. It's not even Halloween and already I'm dreaming of sun-drenched days when working in the garden means I've really accomplished something for the day. Summer means mornings promising the eerie, spiritual cries of Loons calling to each other. Summer means sun rays shining oblong through the rain. Freshly clipped lawns. Peony bushes so full they bend over and touch the ground. And sparkling clean windows that seem to disappear. And let's not forget that summer doubles my living space by joining the outside with inside.
But the best part of all is that next year summer is preceded by spring, and spring means joining our youngest in the Dominican where he'll say his marriage vows.
I'm back from a visit with our youngest, who has just begun his tour in Afghanistan. His home is in Rusagonis, New Brunswick near Gagetown, where mosquitoes never die, but where summer sometimes lasts until Halloween. New Brunswick, like everywhere in the Maritime is a beautiful, history-filled place. While I am indeed sad to see summer end, I had the pleasure of an extended summer, mosquito bites et al. I spent time with our son and his beautiful fiancee. I was with her when he and his unit boarded their plane. I was there when the miracle of Skype enabled these lovebirds to speak face-to-face over the internet, a prelude to the next seven months.
Now, as I sit at my desk on a beautiful late-summer day, looking out at Cluculz Lake, watching fish jump, seeing fishermen putter past under clear skies ... there are over 33,000 Nato troops in Afghanistan. Among them 2,500 Canadians. I'm sure all those other parents are just as proud as I am that our son serves his country in the most bravest of ways. And I know that I'm not the only mum living now or in the past with this unease. And though I'm sad to see summer end, as each day passes, our son's end of tour draws closer.
Maybe the best thing about summer is its return again next year.
If your son or daughter is serving in Afghanistan or Iraq and you feel the need to share, please email me anytime. God Bless.