Towards dusk the fireflies flicker in the garden sending coded messages to each other, tiny wisps tracing their mysterious imponderable circles. The green light on my camera glows steadily resembling them but they move too fast for pictures, their tiny lights going in and out before the ponderous flash of a digital camera can capture them.
It is August again.
Summer is New York City's shortest hurrah, a heavy thick blanket of heat clamped down on a city of concrete and steel, a city made more properly for winter than summer, more for snow scenes than the sight of sweating masses baking on grim grey streets. In summer the city itself seems to sweat people. Summer is a relief from cold, a release from long dark days that begin in the afternoon and carry on into the morning. A release from the strange twilight of weather that is neither warm nor cold that dominates the climate these days.
But summer itself is not a relief but a sort of pressure, an explosive decompression of temperatures in which we escape from the bleakness of winter into a raving madman's heat, a heat enclosed in steel and concrete walls, deprived of green pastures and rushing brooks and all the accompaniment of summer to frame except for the occasional grimy yellow beach, an afterthought sticking out from behind rows of malformed coney island, rockaway and brighton beach condominums.
The passing of the seasons is also the passing of time, the reminder that each thing we have is also doomed to pass away, that the things we look forward to like summer never meet our expectation and that finally we never appreciate it when it is worth having.
And so each passing of the seasons, each change bears within it a mourning for a time to come.