Mae Clair’s Summer Serenade

Although summer hasn’t officially rolled up and called it a season (that will happen later this month), once the calendar inches past Labor Day, I consider it over. Maybe it goes back to childhood when returning to school ended afternoons of roaming sun-soaked fields and playing hide-and-seek well past dark. Who can forget the whimsical magic of a summer night with friends?

When I was in school, we didn’t start the new year until the day after Labor Day. To the child in me, that was the official end of summer. Game over, welcome to a reality check.

The first day of school was always one of excitement…getting to see friends I hadn’t since early June, discovering new classes, classmates and teachers. But after the initial gloss wore off, I was more than ready to return to the frolicking routine of summer’s carefree lifestyle.  

Now I see the passage of the season differently, but still mark its demise with a sense of sadness. Don’t get me wrong—I love autumn. I’m constantly telling my husband I couldn’t live anywhere that didn’t include all four seasons. I’d miss the change from one to the next (although I could do with a shorter winter). He, on the other hand, would gleefully sign up for a zip code that offered tropical temperatures 365 days a year.

As summer fades, I note how the air smells differently, underscored by the brewing musk of autumn;  how the evenings grow shorter with the smoky kiss of September, and how even a slight breeze will send a kite-tail of leaves fluttering to the ground. The flower beds and decorative pots that once cried for water have sprouted into ungainly bushes, creating vibrant bursts of color in my yard. I have to turn lights on earlier than I used to in the evening, and my Green Mountain coffee selection has morphed from Island Coconut to Pumpkin Spice.

Seasonal change. It’s here.

I’m generally a productive writer, but admit summer puts a bite into my output. There are more events to distract me–picnics, parties and outdoor gatherings. In that respect, I’m looking forward to an autumn where I can snuggle inside and let my fingertips dance across the keyboard, creating characters and stories that involve all four seasons. Yes, I love summer, but autumn brings a new and different sense of exhilaration.

What about you? Do you have a favorite time of year that coaxes you to write more often than others?

15 thoughts on “Mae Clair’s Summer Serenade

  1. Great post Mae! I do love my summers, but I also get more writing done it seems when the nights start getting longer. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year when everything begins to change.

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    • I’m the same way…I’ll miss summer but I can’t help feeling excited about autumn and all the changes it brings. And, hopefully, that will include a lot of productive writing! 🙂

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  2. I definitely like the cold season for writing – being inside with the heat on, a cup of coffee or tea and gray skies with rain outside. Of course, living in Cali I don’t have seasons and with the exception of certain years, not much rain. It’s sunny most of the time so, not as much of the weather I like. But, that’s my favorite time. (I did live in New Mexico for 2 yrs and moved back – can’t stand snow)

    I found your observations about summer’s end interesting. It’s so different here. When I was in school summer break was June 15-Sept 15 so I don’t look at Labor Day the same way. (they’ve since changed summer break from late May to late Aug in the last few years) It’s so interesting how something as simple as the day school starts can set our associations, isn’t it? If I were to write a blog about this subject it would look somewhat different. I think that is so intriguing 🙂

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    • I love to write when it rains, Cadence. I agree that there’s just ‘something’ that sparks creavity when it’s cold, bleak and dreary outside.

      Interesting when your summer break was during school years. That’s definitely a new one on me. My area has changed too and it’s now pretty much early June through late August. And yes, I agree with you that different perspectives (and blog posts) on the same subject are intriguing. It’s interesting to see how varied the same topic can be!

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  3. Beautiful post, Mae. I was writing something in a similar vein for my blog, and it’s like Mother Nature is right in tune with my “Labor Day equals end of summer” thoughts. Today it’s cold and pouring down rain, but it’s my favorite, and most productive, writing weather. I love summer, though. Sigh. Guess this is a good definition of internal conflict. LOL

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    • Another kindred spirit who loves to write when it rains! 🙂 We had some of the wet stuff yesterday for a few hours and then it cleared out. I think tomorrow and Wednesday we may inudated. Hopefully, I can grab a few hours in the evening to work on my WIP. I’m looking forward to your blog post on the end of summer! Like Cadence said above, it’s interesting to see everyone’s differing prespective.

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  4. Such a beautiful post Mae. I’m with your husband… I’d gladly accept a zip code with a constant tropical climate. I LOVE the beach, the breeze, the sand all with the mix of an ocean sun. BUT this type of climate reflects poorly on my writing habits in which I prefer winter where the nights are longer and I’m not being forced to go play outside with the kids. I do hate the cold though. I much rather have autumn, where there is a cool breeze and I can bundle up and sit outside where the sun will shine on my face. Then I can get cozy in my chair and gaze out at the landscape to the beautifully colored trees and let my mind drift to a far off place for future ideats and stories to create later in the night.
    Ahhh… bring on autumn!

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    • Loni, I love your vision of autumn! It vividly transported me to that wondrous place outside you described. Wow! Sign me up for that zip code 😀 Yes, I’d love to languish in the tropics along with hubster, but I’d feel that tug on my heart in October and December. I need gem-colored leaves, browning cornfields and snow touched by moonlight.

      Today I came home from work, the pool was covered up (we did it on Sunday) and it was hot, humid, muggy and sticky outside. Ugh! I’ll echo you…bring on autumn!

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  5. I live in one of those perpetually summer states. Technically, we have two seasons. Rainy season and sunny season. I used to love watching the leaves change colors when I lived up north, but was not a big fan of winter. As you know, rain inspires me….but so does that fresh, clean period after the rain.

    And I’ve learned to measure my seasons by coffee, too. Island coconut is a fun flavor. Mix it with Coffeemate’s chocolate mocha creamer and you have a pretty good Mounds bar imitation. But, my all time favorite is pumpkin spice….especially once Starbucks starts serving it again. It is my kryptonite.

    Great nostalgic post, Mae!

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    • Ok, you had me laughing about the coffe and kryptonite, Kitt! I’m going to have to try out your Island Coconut recipe when it’s in season again.

      My husband would love your neck of the woods, especially the sunny season. I agree with you about winter…not a fan, but I do love the cold in December. I guess it goes with Christmas, crackling yule logs, hot cocoa and snowflakes. Once mid January rolls around I’m ready for Spring. Unfortunately winter is the longest season of all four! Ugh!

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      • I do miss snow one night a year….Christmas Eve/morning. But that’s the only time. I also miss carrolling and carrolling parties.

        On a side note…does your hot cocoa have marshmallows in it? If so, the real kind or the stuff that comes in Swiss Miss? (I love wassail as my hot holiday drink).

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