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Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer's End: Opening Up to Change

Judi Stepek

This morning it hit me: summer is ending and a familiar melancholy sets in. At 5:30 am, the sun failed to greet me the way she did a few days ago, announcing the start of another endless summer day to savor. Since childhood I have associated the change in the climate and the landscape with loss.

The first time I had a visceral reaction to the end of summer occurred while riding from the beach in the back seat of our family car, a Pontiac Bonneville packed with beach chairs and a cooler, my twin brother sitting next to me in the back seat. I remember the tightness of my skin that had likely seen too little sunscreen that day.

My seat offered the best view for looking over the causeway bridge. The grey bay waves looked choppy, and the ocean smell wafted through the car’s open window. I could taste the salt heavy in the air and imagined that the screeching seagulls were laughing at my departure.

I experienced a sixth sense that day.  A drop in my stomach accompanied by the bittersweet feeling of having found love yet knowing it is over. It’s so much more than a change in location; it alters your being if passion runs deep.

Summer does that to me.

Summer complements my interests and my energy in a way that almost personifies her. 

She is the warmth of a sunrise run past the Flying W airport.

She is the glow in a sunset bike ride past old Prickett’s Farm.

She is the open invitation for family and friends to drop by for a quick swim in the pool.

For a few blissful months each year I bask in her glory, knowing a deeper connection to the physical world.

Others may feel it on a winter night lit by a full moon and hushed by the fall of snow. Is there a way to smoothly transition from the guy you married back to the high-school boyfriend you were never so keen on dating anyway?

I won’t hold my breath but I will try to evolve as a person.

I will be optimistic and seek an autumnal miracle.  My plan includes a Hudson Valley escape to see the fall foliage.  I can get behind runs that aren’t so hot I might melt. But I would really like to find a new activity that seals the transition deal for me.

I hope that random people, readers, and those who love the fall share their ideas on how to live for the season.

Our guest blogger, Judi Stepek, is a creative writer, mom and wife who enjoys biking and running, theater and music, and listening to people tell their stories.


  1. Welcome Judi. It's always fun having getting to know a guest blogger.
    I'm with your, I am a summer and beach addict. A few years ago, I realized, I actually like fall too, with it's vibrant colors, and cooler air giving us an excuse to light a fire in the fireplace. I realized, I'd like fall a lot more, if it wasn't followed by winter. Even with the holidays, it's hard for me to feel like winter has many redeeming qualities. Hopefully, other reader's will help us out.

  2. Judi,

    I am an equal opportunity season admirer. It's why I love living in the northeast US, where we get a good dose of every season. I could never live in Florida or Arizona or southern Californian(well maybe there).

    Here's something to like about autumn and winter: the clothes are much better -- sweaters, boots, jackets and coats. Working and playing outside is better too. And the colors are spectacular in the NE. Autumn is my favorite season, hands down.

    Winter is my least favorite, but I'll keep it just for the snow, which always brings back childhood memories. I think I will be throwing snowballs when I'm 90. And soup... winter means cooking and enjoying homemade soup. My favorite comfort food.

    Spring brings flowering trees... what could be more beautiful? And the promise of summer.

    Summer brings so much more activity, and more people oriented gatherings too. And the longer hours of light are really nice, But I also associate it with too much yard work, stinging bugs and sweat. I guess that's why I'm not as sad as you when the cooler fall weather arrives.

    Make some soup when the weather gets cold and dark.

  3. Well done Judi! Having just come back from LBI for 2 weeks...waking up and seeing the ocean every morning...I can totally relate. However, I do love all the the colors of the Fall...I love a good snow storm and nothing better then when the trees bloom in Spring. Summer by far is my favorite though. Enjoy the last few weeks :) Frank Isoldi

  4. Yes Judi, agreed. I've always been a summer girl, and I always get end of summer blues. So I try to let myself feel them, mourn the end of summer. And once I get tired of that, which I do, I move on to enjoying my fall wardrobe, and apples, and soup making, and Halloween. And less crowded beaches, cooler runs. All we ever have is the present, so I try to look for the gifts there. As my father-in-law says, "I think I'll let it rain today."