I get a queasy feeling in my stomach during this time of year when the first "Back to School" ads appear in the paper and the stores are fully stocked with crayons, notebooks and backpacks.
"How could it be?" we ask.
"Where did the summer go?"
Even if you don't go to school yourself, or have to send children off, everything seems to run on that school calendar concept.
We all say it: "Everything starts in the fall." In a way, "everything ends in the spring," too.
So, here we are at the far end of those three delicious months of summer.
Once the end peeks around the corner through newspaper ads, or a yellow leaf or two, it seems to rob us of our full enjoyment of the remaining days of summer.
Often we qualify a present experience of sheer delight by moaning its quick passing. How many times has a wonderful Sunday been tainted with the thought of, "Tomorrow is already Monday?"
In "Out of the Silent Planet," C.S. Lewis uses the analogy of picking fruit from an abundant tree, only to find at the same time we are looking for a bigger and more luscious piece of fruit. He points out that we do not want to give up the first fruit until we have secured a better one. We are always searching for the something "more."
September has a certain nostalgic feel to it. Perhaps it is a way we shelter ourselves from a probable harsh long winter.
On a deeper level, it seems to impress upon us a sense of the mortality of all things. Even summers must pass away.
We have summer now, yet not in its fullness (remember the mosquitoes?). So, too, we experience life here and now but never in its total completion. We seem to peek around the corner quite a bit. We ponder, "What is next on our personal horizon?"
We may even be willing to forgive those pesky mosquitoes if we could only keep summer around for a few more weeks.
It is all part of the give and take of life. Each day nature displays splendor in the rising of the sun and the darkness of the night. Even this particularly delightful summer day must pass into the night. We have to let go in order to appreciate fully the new day to come.
So, relish each remaining summer day. Today is indeed a new day. Do not try to cling to it, you can't. Instead, relish, cherish and savor it. Embrace the few lingering days of summer but also graciously let go.
That fresh fruit of a new day will dawn and there won't be another day quite like it.
"Behold now I am making the whole of creation new." Revelation 21:5
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