the weather is here, wish you were beautiful

originally published September 3, 2007

Labor Day.

Today we celebrate the fruits of our collective labor by vowing to do no laboring. Nothing laborious. Sans Labor.

I sat under a half moon and several stars in Oxford last night, a firepit roaring in Whiskey Mike’s long and bountiful driveway, cheap beer in coozys, big plastic American deck chairs seperating us from the cement. We did nothing of substance, it was glorious. Getting out of the city for a night, even if it is only to get into a smaller city, is satisfying, particularly when the weather cooperates. It did. It was.

The thought that summer is ending passed through my mind. There was a slight chill in the night air, the kind I prayed for in July when the night humidity kept me swimming in sweat from the simple of act of sitting still. I saw the first red hues in the leaves of the trees, a handful of early arrivals from the land of autumnal bliss. Fall is approaching; my favorite season.

It is about this time each year when philosophy hangs heavy in me. My reading list inevitably finds Frost and Emerson replacing summer fiction and the sports pages. Maybe the summer heat simply burns off the dogma in me like the quicksilver on the horizon, and now that the searing is stopping its’ residue remains on the surface to be brushed off and absorbed like the final full days of August.

It’s been a good summer, a productive and vibrant one. I finished a novel, have started another, spent many nights on many patios and decks drinking many drinks. I have been on the water and in it, on the road, in the air, under the stars and over the hills to Bonnaroo and back. There was a sprinkling of BSE inspired cultural wanderings, a smattering of disc golf and a heaping helping of Tiger baseball enjoyed from the comfort of my seats in left field. I’ve made new friends, let go of old ones, smiled and flirted, sang and played guitar in the yard, exercised regularly and even napped in a hammock.

There was Herbie Hancock and Medeski, Martin & Wood with John Scofield at the Detroit Jazz Festival. There were nights in Linden. There was a beautiful afternoon on the water with family on Wolverine Lake, just hours before the torrential rains came. There were random two man pub crawls through Ferndale, also known as the attack of the wingmen. There was photography, art, poetry, poker in the back yard at Eric’s, late night omelettes and early morning beer pong. There were epiphanies and anomalies, Mozart and astronomy.

Rummage sales and street festivals, fresh fruit from roadside stands, good bands in bad bars, bad bands in good bars, fishing, hot dogs, peruvian liquor, Monday night baseball, the summer solstice, amateur carpentry, Smores, a train ride at the Zoo, work in the garden, moving, reading, the climbing of trees, the safety of objects, a few films, romance, penance, fire, the first pint of ’07 Oberon, shorts and Birkenstocks, bottle caps and bells….a good summer indeed.

I feel there is more to be said on summer, but finding the words right now is beginning to seem like work, which is persona non grata on this Labor Day. So instead I will venture out into what remains of this weather and this day and this time. Here’s hoping what remains rivals what has passed.

Be Well my poets and soldiers, be well….

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