Kicking Summer to the Curb

6:53 am. Far too early to be walking to the bus stop, but that's what we've been doing for the past three weeks.

Only the dog is excited.

But this week has been different. I've held my breath for the past four mornings because I feel a chill in the air, the unmistakable appearance of fall. In the South, that means the temperatures are below 80 and the air is dry enough to mean you don’t sweat out your shirt before walking a block.

If I were in Southern California, it would be a typical summer morning. But here, in Atlanta, it means something different; it means relief.

It means thunderstorms, while never completely absent, will be less common. The sky, usually obscured by green, will be more visible because the leaves are gone. Beach towels give way to long sleeves Baseball yields to football Corn gives way to Brussels Sprouts.

In my biased economy, these are all big wins.

These opinions, while decidedly out-of-step with my friends, are echoed by one of my favorite poets, Phillip Larkin. His elegant words are my story.


Perhaps I’m not so odd as I think.

Mother, Summer, I

My mother, who hates thunder storms, Holds up each summer day and shakes It out suspiciously, lest swarms Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there; But when the August weather breaks And rains begin, and brittle frost Sharpens the bird-abandoned air, Her worried summer look is lost,

And I her son, though summer-born And summer-loving, none the less Am easier when the leaves are gone Too often summer days appear Emblems of perfect happiness I can't confront: I must await A time less bold, less rich, less clear: An autumn more appropriate.

Phillip Larkin