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The Loss of Summer

September 13th, 2013by Dan Thomas

This time of the year is always a hard one for me because I love summer so much. Morning light is coming later each day and evening darkness is arriving earlier as well. The warmth of the summer sun is slowly dissipating and tinges of cool fall days becoming more frequent. I even enjoy the hottest of these summer days if I can be close to a swimming pool to jump into for cooling off.

One of the things I do every day is follow the weather information in the daily paper, checking especially the rising and setting of the sun. One of the consequences of this is seeing in the summer after the solstice the sun’s slow southern movement as each day gets a little shorter. After the winter solstice, I get to watch each day get a little bit longer. So I spend half the year mourning the slow loss of the sun’s light and the other half celebrating its slow return.

Summer for me is a time in which I wear fewer clothes (thus less laundry to do). Shoes are replaced by sandals; long pants by shorts; long sleeves with T-shirts and short-sleeved dress shirts.

There are, of course, some difficult things about summer: cutting the grass in the summer heat; the high humidity of the Miami Valley; the pain of getting into a car that has become a furnace; and the boredom that comes from the loss of the demands of meaningful work.

Then there are the beautiful things about fall: that crispness of a bright but cool sunny day; the slow turning of the leaves to bright reds, oranges, yellows and browns; the challenges of meeting the new RCIA people as they begin to explore what the Catholic faith might do for them.

Even winter has its beauties: a cold morning that brings lung-filling breaths; the clean, clear newness of an overnight snow fall; the taste of warm coffee after coming in from the cold; the seasons of Advent and Christmas with their reminders of preparation and incarnation; the knowledge that Spring will truly come again.

So maybe this changing of seasons isn’t all bad or maybe there are some wonderful things about each season that help me/guide me to live all of life with its beauties and its difficulties more fully and let its truths settle into my deepest self that somehow growth may happen if I listen to the lessons.

Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas is a retired Director of Religious Education, living in Dayton Ohio. His education includes graduation from Chaminade HS and the University of Dayton (MA in Pastoral Ministry). He is married with two adult sons and is a parishioner at St. Helen, Dayton.