As I write this, it is the middle of August, close to the start of the school year and the end of summer. Yet it’s still hot, the heat baking up from the concrete and blacktop when I move outside. Shade provides some relief but not with cooler temperatures, just a break from the sun beating down in a clear blue sky. The air conditioning runs non-stop, blowing cool air through the house but also a sense of cabin fever in closed up buildings. I look forward to opening the windows again, allowing a breeze to blow through with the scent of outside - earth, fallen leaves and other smells of autumn.

Rocky beach by ocean and waves

Finally, a break in the weather, and the onshore flow from the ocean reaches even our inland location. Walking in the evenings is pleasant instead of exercise within an oven. Mornings are pleasant, I don’t rush to get into my car and crank the air conditioning on to chase out the heat.

B&W pictures of beach with people, buildings

When evening comes, I sit out on our porch and watch Mars rising through the sky, twinkling through our pine tree as it follows its path. It’s the time of year for meteor showers and shooting stars, faintly visible in spite of the city lights. I remember summer nights as a teen, laying out in the backyard with my brother, delighted to see shooting stars skimming through the sky. I don’t know many constellations, but it feels like home to find the big dippers and the north star.

Rock with heart painted on it in green and black

The pine tree stirs as a breeze winds it’s way through it’s branches. For a moment, I slow down and appreciate the silence, the peace of being out in nature. More baking weather is predicted, in the meantime I enjoy a break from the extreme heat. I don’t long for fall and winter yet, but I am starting to look forward to the change of seasons. I enjoy the moment, the serenity and the break from living in a very busy world.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster