Monday, September 7, 2009

The Off Side of Summer

September 7, 2009
Labor Day
Today is traditionally considered the End of Summer. Lately, while out walking, I have been trying to see that moment in time when one season passes to another. Of course, that's not possible; it's more like a series of moments.

I read this journal entry a month ago, the words sticking in my mind. Thoreau wrote this in early August, but it seems that only now, in the past few days, has the landscape taken on a new hue.

Journal, August 1854:

There is a light on the earth and leaves, as if they were burnished.

It is the glistening autumnal side of summer.

I feel a cool vein in the breeze, which braces my thought,

and I pass with pleasure over sheltered and sunny portions of the sand,
where the summer's heat is undiminished,

and I realize what a friend I am losing.

This off side of summer glistens like a burnished shield.

In mid-summer we are of the earth - confounded with it, - and covered with its dust.

Now we begin to erect ourselves somewhat, and walk upon its surface.

I am not so much reminded of former years, as of existence prior to years.


  1. This was truly beautiful, Sue, and gave us a frame through which to view our own end-of-summer unfolding around us in Wisconsin. Thank you =)

  2. Sue, what a beautiful post! Exquisite photos, evocative prose, add up to a very moving experience. Thanks.