Evan Rook writes How should we soak up the last of the season and avoid the end-of-summer blues?
How do we avoid the end of summer blues? Those blues come from looking over our shoulder when we should be looking further down the road.
I understand the stress disorder that accompanies back to school. Those ads that invoke that phrase ‘back to school’ still give me shivers when they arrive in mid-July. Back to school. Allow us the rapturous indolence of the summer months before you start reminding us of alarm clocks and surly students and homework and science fairs.
But consider those moments of calm when you realize that the kids are still in school and you can gather your thoughts that had been scattered by the winds of youth.
But here it is. Labor Day has come and gone. The white shoes go back in the closet. And you are about to poison yourself with wistfulness.
Would it not be better to celebrate the best months of the year? Autumn in Chicago means abundant sunshine and perfect days. Evenings that are just cool enough to stack some hard wood in a fire pit where the fire is a kind of hypnotism and the warmth is welcome. S’mores just taste better in the fall.
College football and men in purple sweaters tailgating in Evanston. There are weekend road trips to your alma mater for a Saturday afternoon tilt against a hated rival and if the game doesn’t really matter, having a bloody Mary with your freshman roommate does. And some day in the distant future, your children may experience the autumnal joys of an afternoon spent in the company of the Monsters. The Monsters of the Midway.
When the towering honey locust trees turn color on my street, a golden canopy stretches down the length of two city blocks. And if you can slip away to rural Michigan or Wisconsin you can watch the maple trees enflame the countryside.
There is soup again. After those bright months of heat and humidity, the cooling brings you back to the stockpot. How about a bowl of homemade potato leek soup? And if you’re lucky enough to find my favorite sushi bar, the end of September means the brief return of their matsutake mushroom soup served with a shrimp in a tiny ceramic tea kettle.
Now come the tomatoes from a neighbor’s vine, slivered with some fresh mozzarella and dark balsamic vinegar.
There will be pumpkins. And a time for a young lion with a bag for Halloween candy to believe he is far more ferocious than he really is.
If you happen to count yourself among the true baseball fans, September and October are the months that invite your focus and intensity.
There will be an evening when the mosquitos are gone and the cicadas have shut up and you can sit on your front steps and watch the soft parade.
You accomplish nothing dreading the winter. The end of the summer blues is just a song of your own design.
The days grow shorter which mean the nights linger longer. You know what they say, nothing good happens after the sun comes up.
Autumn is the season that gives us the best holiday of the year. The holiday with three different kinds of pie.
When the summer ends, change is in the air. And a change will do us good.