All the songs are about September, but I think August is really a month worth remembering. August carries an ingrained rhythm. Perhaps because our childhoods revolved around the traditional school start dates, our bodies and psyches know that it is the beginning of the end of summer. Named after Augustus Caesar, August means “revered” or “venerable.” The name implies that August should be honored and given respect for its wisdom. It is still summer, but has that feeling of the calm before the storm. A transition is imminent. The weather will change, the light will change, and our schedules will change. Anticipation is in the air. August tells me I better enjoy the last few moments of the glorious, hot summer. I better finish the projects I wanted to complete. I better visit with the friends I never have time to see. I better take one last summer excursion. Can I get to the beach one more time? Maybe we should have a BBQ? Is everyone ready for the Fall?
Try to Remember
Nothing rhymes with August, but, sing along…Try to remember the kind of August…
It was August when I first moved to San Francisco. I found an amazing apartment above the Haight with a friend from the east coast and was completely enamored by our neighborhood. I could run the hills and walk to the park. The views were breathtaking and the flora and fauna blew me away! I remember thinking how much money I used to spend in New York to purchase one Bird of Paradise flower to bring to a friend’s apartment, yet in San Francisco, they were growing in everyone’s yards like weeds. My hair was suddenly more manageable because there was no humidity. Fog rolled in and out throughout the day and I needed to wear layers all the time. I noticed that snails crawled on the sidewalks and there were no mosquitos. The Pacific Ocean was just miles away from me, and as I walked to work, I had a view of the most iconic bridge in the world. I thought life couldn’t get any better.
And then about a week later, I met my husband! Suddenly, I had a new city and a new best friend. He was the perfect find on so many levels. He sincerely wanted to introduce me to San Francisco and the entire Bay Area. He told me the only thing wrong with me was that my family lived on the east coast, and I might want to return to them. So, he made it his mission to show me all the highlights of California, in the hopes that I would stay. And I did.
In the movie version of my blog, this is when the romantic montage begins. Choose a song, like Earth Wind and Fire’s, “September,” make it “August” and picture us doing all these things in the three and a half minutes of the song. Of course, there were the traditional tourist spots such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street. But he also took me to some less popular spots. Like his favorite Mexican Restaurant in Hayward for my first, ever, burrito. He took me to the A&W drive thru in Santa Cruz for fries and a root beer float. He took me, fully clothed, to the nude part of Baker Beach and to Coit Tower so we could scream at the tops of our lungs. He even took me dancing to a 50’s club, Rockin’ Robin’s, on Haight St.! (You have to know my husband to understand what a stretch that must have been for him). I remember our first trip to Monterey and having a little disagreement about something. We worked it out on the sidewalk of Cannery Row next to a chain link fence that protects ancient cannery containers. That is the moment when I first understood that I would never again be alone. That I now defined myself through, and with, someone else’s eyes. Corny yes, but honest, true story. I got that I was in deep, and I was in forever.
This August marks our 29th wedding anniversary and I feel the shift of the season and the burning desire to make summer last. My daughter and I went to Cannery Row last week and passed that chain link fence. I felt the visceral memory of that moment. Of course, it lost its impact in the translation to my girl. All I received was an “Oh mom.” But I can hang on to that cherished moment in August, and sing along in my head.
Pour yourself a cup of decaf and tell us why you love August!
Happy Anniversary honey.