Editorial: In August, a hint of September
Have you felt it? It doesn’t last all day long, it’s not unpleasant, it doesn’t require wool socks or mittens. Yet every now and then there’s a breeze, a slight one, that seems to be coming from the future – from autumn.
You could feel it Saturday at the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl football game up in Hanover. Football in August? Yes! And even though the teams – one from Vermont, one from New Hampshire – represented the best of the best from last fall, suddenly it looked like this fall. And that breeze! We saw a fan shiver, ever so briefly, in her flip-flops: the footwear of August in the wind of September.
You could feel it again on Sunday at Rossview Farm amid the blueberry bushes. The sun was warm, but that breeze had a chilly edge to it, a warning perhaps. You could feel it on the forested trails below the berries, too. That’s where we spied the red maple leaf: red! With flecks of yellow for good measure. And it wasn’t alone. Our companion picked up an acorn on the trail – held it and then tossed it away. No need to treasure it; there will soon be more where that one came from.
And later still, at Carter Hill Orchard, where we studied the small boxes of mid-summer plums, we were ultimately distracted by the shelf of Halloween knickknacks just beyond the summer produce. Surely they weren’t expecting anyone to actually buy that stuff now, were they?
We don’t mean to alarm you. Some kids are only now going off to summer camp. People are still painting houses and replacing roofs and racing bicycles around White Park. It’s still easy enough to work up a sweat just mowing the grass – and there’s still plenty of tall grass to mow. And it’s easy enough to get a whiff of burgers and hot dogs sizzling from a half-dozen barbecue grills on a quick walk through town at suppertime.
But we did see a fourth-grader with a math workbook over the weekend. And we did see his mother put on a sweater to guard against that breeze. And surely it didn’t get dark this early last week, did it? Make the most of August: It’s getting easier and easier to remember what comes next.