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"Over summer's high hill"



The older I get, the more I seem to notice how the summer light changes as the months wear on into fall. As I am typically an early riser, I seem to notice this change more in the morning hours as the sun stays down a little later but upon rising gives off more of a golden color.


Several weeks ago, local historian and museum volunteer, Teena Kracht, came across an excellently written editorial/summary/description of mid-summer in Manistee when compiling her weekly column, "100 Years Ago" which is published in the Manistee News Advocate every Tuesday.


While the following editorial was included in Teena's write up this past week (which can be found here: https://www.manisteenews.com/local-history/) I felt that it was too good to not share it for those that have not yet been able to read her column.


As such, the following was first published in the Manistee News Advocate on August 3, 1921 and republished on August 10, 2021 in the News Advocate. It is also republished here:


“Well, well, here we are in August--off on the downhill side of summer almost before we have accustomed ourselves to the season.

“It was Hawthorne who, somewhere, told rather beautifully how, in the midst of summer, we find those little evidences which bear in upon our realization the fact that the season has already begun its decline. This season the evidences have come earlier than usual, because of the dryness and the incessant heat; but, even so, it is difficult to realize how swiftly summer’s end draws nigh.

“With August, coal in the chute rattles more incessantly into the cellar windows of our neighbors, the cricket is much more insistent with his song at nightfall. Yet, in spite of all that should keep us informed of the significance of fast-slipping time, we are a little aghast when of an evening, after a little lull in the porch conversation, someone speaks up and says, ‘My how short the days are getting.’ Somehow, we let ourselves believe, through the first long days of summer, that such days must run the season through; but, in reality, the longest days come just about as we are beginning to fully trust the open.

“No, summer is not over, but the upspringing, joyous development is past. There will be a period of rounding out and of fulfillment, but there is left little more of that fine expectancy which comes with the springtime when we see the world full of unchartered joys. Every garden, every rosebush, then, is a veritable fountain of surprises, the like of which we are confident we have never seen before. But, now, Nature’s pageant has paraded past; she may feast our senses with actors more voluptuously garbed, but for all that, we have seen the season’s castle.

“There is a little note of sadness, almost indistinguishable, that comes creeping in with mid-summer, with the realization that the season has done its best, and that it is beginning those imperceptible preparations for going on the long, back trail which leads to winter. True, cold weather is still weeks away; true, some vegetation will flourish and stand bravely green through weeks to come, but, in spite of all, we cannot do otherwise than feel that the season, of which we hoped so much through the long, cold months of spring, has come up and has given us its best.

“The sun will blaze hot through the remaining August days, but it is then that come the cooler nights which hint of the stirring times of fall.

“Here we are, over summer’s high hill."

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