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“Summer has always been good to me, even the bittersweet end, with the slanted yellow light.” ~Paul Monette

The river water level is lower sooner this summer than I’ve seen in a long time; it reflects traditional end of September levels, not end of August.

Evenings have grown cooler more quickly this year and the maple leaves are morphing into reds and golds already.

As Oscar Wilde once quipped, “and all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”

I do love fall—bulky sweaters and scarves, football and festivities—but mourn the passing of summer each year, daring Mother Nature to make me put away my flip flops.

And now I have grandchildren, and they started school last week, before Labour Day, and that, somehow, feels much too early to force us into fall, which, as everyone knows, begins not on September 22nd but on the first day of school, when you strap on a backpack.

Everything seems to be moving faster these days. Things everywhere are picking up speed: communication, the travel and hospitality industries, the job market, the effects of climate change.

Yet.

Over this Labour Day weekend, the last hurrah of summer with stunningly perfect river weather, as I dog-sit an elderly Labrador who only wants to retrieve sticks from the water, though slowly, and sleep, I realize that this face-first falling forward need not be so fast; it might be savoured, yet, in slow-motion, and appreciated with awe.

The sunlight lingers long enough to extend her sparkling fingers across the water, speckles dancing on the surface, beckoning an old dog forward, again, slowly.

I find this time of year particularly poignant.

“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.”– Ann Patchett

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