On this, one of the last days of Summer, at least according to the parks and rec department, the rain finally broke despite the lingering, smoke-colored clouds, and Duncan and I ventured across the street for some time out in the fields we love so much before the vendors and visitors of the annual Summerset Festival gouge them up and litter them with their discarded turkey legs, sweet-smelling wrappers and wax-covered soft drink cups.
It is a merry occasion but Duncan generally prefers its aftermath, when he can sniff and root through the grass and shrubbery for the goodies left behind after the crowds have departed. And because I'm extremely cautious about what he eats that means he doesn't get to play unfettered by his leash, at least not for the first few days after the revelry has ended. So tonight, under low skies, we practiced catching the Frisbee and chasing the bunnies in solitude and simply walking side by side in the quiet and solitude. The staff at the park were busy today, though, spray painting the grass with squares and numbers where each of the vendor tents and trailers will sit for the next three days, setting up the hand-washing stations and port-a-potties, the chemical smell of which already permeates the air. Tomorrow, thankfully, the scent of grilling corn and all sorts of goodies will waft across the street, along with the sounds of the bands at the amphitheater.
It is a three day celebration of summer, but inevitably the final hours are spent in a downpour with people running madly for their cars while the vendors close up and dismantle their shops and tents. And just as inevitably, it signals the full, brutal onslaught of Autumn, which means nostalgia and melancholy for me.
Walking back tonight, through the crisp air, my eyes couldn't help but pick out the yellows and reds already appearing among the cottonwoods and the hedges where the little birds roost or the lowness of the sun in early evening sky and the absence of shadows on the sidewalks and grass at our feet. Duncan finds the cool moist of the grass delightful, especially when he can push his face into it, his rump and tail high in the air behind him. But I can only look at the colors and wonder how in the hell I'm going to find the endurance for another six months of wet and cold.
I'm sure Roo has it figured out already. His joy always manages to buoy me through the dark.