"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.
I love summer.
Well, I love all the seasons, each for their own special moods and emotions.
But ever since I was a little girl, I have loved summer best.
Playing barefoot in the woods,
splashing in the lake,
baking mud pies, and
picking wild strawberries.
I haven't really changed much since those days.
"The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot."
Inevitably, I feel a certain sadness as summer reaches the height of her power, and slowly, as the sun drops lower in the sky and dry leaves fall to the ground, she begins her quiet descent into fall.
I feel this loss sharply in my garden. The spring tulips and daffodils are long gone, the lush rose blooms and delphinium spires of June have faded, and even the mid-summer day lilies bare their spent stalks.
"It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone."
But summer is not over. No, in some ways, the best is yet to come.
Because the hydrangea are ready.
Their flat flower heads explode into fluffy bursts of color, pink and blue and purple.
And even though I know, as I have since I was a little girl, that bittersweet fall will be upon us soon enough, at the first week of August, the hydrangea remind me that there is still plenty of summer to come.
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Quotes from my favorite midsummer book, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit.