This day won’t last forever

Joyce Whitis

The morning was just cool enough to make my morning walk down to the main road, sprightly. That’s a word my mother used when describing an action that needed to be performed quickly.

“Walk sprightly,” she’d say. “Walk sprightly, Joyce, before the ice all melts.”

And so I would skip across the lister ridges on a blistering day in mid-September carrying a jug of ice-water with a toe-sack wrapped around it and tied with baling wire to my Dad in the field. He would give me a big smile, take the jug from my hands, tip it up and take a long, long drink. I’d get my reward for my sprightly trip when he’d lower the jug, look at me with those clear blue eyes and say, “Man that tastes good.”

On this morning, far from those cotton fields and the family that shaped my life, I opened a treasure chest of memories flowing unbidden into my mind. Maybe it was the perfect morning with fields of green stretching toward a neighbor’s brick home just a short drive up the road. Maybe it was the dogs checking out last night’s wild animal rendezvous’ in the fence rows. Maybe it was the little patch of purple flowers up against the stake fence that the mower had missed. Whatever it was that set me off, the wonder of this world we live in and the fantastic voyage across it, brought me close to tears of emotion.

For one thing, summer is my time of the year. I can’t get enough of the sun and the sand and the sea, swimsuits and shorts, sleeveless shirts, and hair in a ponytail. I like cookouts and softball in the park and listening to music from lawn chairs under the stars. Picnics and watermelon, fresh cantaloupe for breakfast and wading in the creek, this is a glorious summer for me.

Then comes September and I am a little sad to watch it all come to an end and know that the grasshopper has indeed played long enough and its time to think about winter coming and realizing that there just might not be any more summers to play.

“September Song” has always been a favorite, especially when sung by Frank Sinatra. This morning Frank sang the melancholy theme over and over in my head so that I began to sing with him out loud.

“For it’s a long, long time from May to De-cem-ber. But the days grow short when you reach Sep-tem-ber. And the au-tumn wea-ther turns the leaves to flame. And I haven’t got time for the waiting game. The days dwindle down to a precious few! No-vem-ber, De-cem-ber and these few precious days I’ll spend with you. These golden days. I’ll spend with you!”

For me it is September already and I’m a little surprised. I still remember how easy it was to run across the field carrying that water jug. December will come soon enough so today is a day to enjoy. I remember something a friend said the other day when she had to be in a certain place and was not comfortable. “This day won’t last forever,” Well, that’s certainly so. Nothing lasts forever, not even summer but September is a good comfortable month. There is a lot to be said for October and December in our lives as well. There is always a lot to be done before the year runs out and keeping busy keeps the mind active so they say.

So here’s to all you September folks out there, life looks pretty good, enjoy it.