08/12/05 — Change: Summer prepares for its inevitable fate

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Change: Summer prepares for its inevitable fate

To every thing there is a season,

and a time to every purpose

under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up

that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4


Suddenly, shocking news! The year is nearly two-thirds gone.

Its death, like the blossom in Thomas Moore’s verse, is imminent:

’Tis the last rose of summer,

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone.

Hereabouts, the summer’s flowers are beginning to look peaked, save the hardy crape myrtles and the tobacco tops.

And the barer the stalk beneath those blossoming tops, the nearer we are to the time when summer gives way to autumn and ends the hot work in the fields.

This was the signal for generations of children in eastern North Carolina that school would start soon. The harvesting of tobacco, starting from the bottom leaves of the plants and working up, was nearly complete.

Soon comes school, football, vivid color in the trees, hunting trips, cooler nights. It will be pleasant, mostly; still, the changing of the seasons has a melancholy nature. We are leaving a place to which there is no return.

Change is inevitable in our lives just as it is in the years themselves. We are given our own spring, summer, autumn and winter. There is loss as we pass from one season to the next, but only because each offers us something that is precious to us.

Published in Editorials on August 12, 2005 11:42 AM