August has come again. The garden in our front yard is full – squash, zucchini, carrots, beans. (Always, an abundance of beans.) All throughout the county, the farmers’ corn has far surpassed the knee-high-by-the-fourth-of-July standard and reaches well over my head. This short-lived and little, experimental North Country Almanac of mine is now nearly full with a year’s worth of entries, or at least notes – September, December, March(ness), and more, and now August to finish rounding it out. August is a time of ripeness and fullness.
It is also a time of the beginning of change. The very first signs of autumn can already be glimpsed here and there throughout the North Country. Just a few miles from my house, there is a very special place just within the Adirondack State Park. It is a camp on a lake, and there, some of the leaves have already begun to turn red and have fallen to the ground. The air is beginning to crispen (I may have just invented a word) in this second half of August; if things continue in this vein, we are in for a cool fall.
This is the twelfth month cataloged in my N.C.A. Now double that number: this is the twenty-fourth August of my life. I was born in an August both long ago and not that long ago, and I have no idea how many more Augusts I’ll have the gift of living through. But I intend to love everyone of them, whether they’re spent here in the North Country or elsewhere in the world. Like the month of my birth, my life right now feels both full and fruitful, and on the verge of change. Another season of summer camp has been completed; I’ve done the work I set out to do this summer, and I’ve celebrated another birthday. I’ve also said bittersweet good-byes to many beloved people, cried my share of tears this month, and am preparing to set out on a new adventure in a place very far and perhaps very different from NNY. I may never live another full year here in this area (although I think perhaps I might; the Adirondacks are just too good to say good-bye to permanently), but if I’ve learned one thing from observing the surroundings of my home just a bit more closely throughout the past 12 months for the sake of this little “almanac,” it is that Northern New York is truly rich in natural beauty and a place that has much to offer to the imagination – a life-time’s worth, and more.
If you’ve never been here, I highly recommend you change that.