The "End" of Summer

For a good two decades, I was flying as often as three times a month. In the terminal, I would see couples kiss and families embrace. It was hard to tell whether this affection marked arrivals or departures, if these were warm welcomes or four-tissue farewells.

This time of year is like that. For some, Labor Day is the unofficial close of summertime and there's a relief that cooler weather is coming; for others, it's a nameless sorrow that seems to come from a desire to hold on.

Wherever you fall on the summer spectrum, our hope is that you have had some chance to "vacate." Odd word, isn't it? But as you can probably guess, it comes from the sense of being empty, free to be filled. Alice and I are grateful that despite the pandemic a private Preserve has not closed its gates. Nearly 9,000 acres of wetlands, oak hammocks, cypress domes and pine flatwoods, it's a return to the "real Florida" where you can see an alligator and an eagle, an armadillo and a stork on the same day (see pictures we took below).

Maybe the summer you had was reading a great book or (re)painting a room or returning to a craft or hobby that has beckoned for a while. Perhaps you've taken time just to be still and appreciate what is yours and yours to do. Our hope is that you have tried from time to time to be empty from your labor.

For me, there are still 14 more days until autumn and I will be enjoying the remainder of my summer. Perhaps this is why spring, summer, winter and fall are called seasons- they spice up our lives. For some musical color, listen to this Catholic priest's compositions called Four Seasons.

Snapshots from the Preserve we visit: