This morning I found myself wondering if, like me, some of you are sitting at your desks feeling a bit weary. I know it’s the beginning of a new school year, with all those shiny new supplies at the stores. But the end of August always feels like I wasn’t quite done with all my summer commitments, and now I have to turn and catch up to fall.
My house looks like it, too. Sunscreen and flip-flops, vestiges of a more carefree summer, still are scattered by the doorway, but so are the boxes Wren didn’t need as she moved to her residence hall at UNI, and my light jacket I pulled out to walk my dog, Oka, the other night while grumbling to her about how it was getting dark so early again. (Yes, as a new “empty nester” I’m grumbling to the dog these days.)
Summer is so much about growth and expansion. The long days stretch out and feel like they will always be with us — and then, so soon, autumn is upon us with its shorter days, cooler weather, and the last of the flowers.
Of course, it was an ongoing process. It isn’t like one day the earth suddenly shortens the days and gets chilly; it’s been coming on this whole time beneath our level of perception. It seems like a lot happens that way, that caught up in the “busyness” of my days I sometimes lose track of the slight changes occurring around me, which seem to suddenly become big. I would have liked one more week of flowers, flip-flops, and my daughter’s laughter. I’m not quite ready yet for turning leaves, football, and sweaters.
For those of us who work all across the state in ISU Extension and Outreach, we need to keep our eyes open to those slight changes. We need to recognize the subtle shifts that signal something which will eventually become a big change or a central need. And I encourage us to think about how we do something about it, even when we’d rather stay where we were. See you there.
P.S. You can follow me on Twitter @cathannkress.