Summer’s exit opens the door for a new season

The symbolism was too hard to ignore. On my first day of holidays in late August I woke up to find the Sears Christmas Wish Book sitting on my doorstep.

The symbolism was too hard to ignore. On my first day of holidays in late August I woke up to find the Sears Christmas Wish Book sitting on my doorstep.

Did that mean summer was already over before it felt like it started?

And by the time you read this, we’re “officially,” into fall.

Fall is often the runt of the litter when it comes to seasons. Winter has it walk, spring has its step and summer has its sizzle. But fall often seems like a break in the action while winter gets ready to roll.

I prefer to see fall with it’s own charm.

The nice walks, the falling leaves and colourful trees. Golfing on a brisk but sunny day or anything outside puts some colour in your cheeks other than tan.

It’s the fall fairs, like the one this weekend Harvest Country Fair at Gyro Park and the abundance of fresh produce flowing out of gardens.

And that’s the beauty of living in the Kootenays.

The beginning of fall offers a smorg of seasons, unlike any other.

Summer’s late run is expected to hang on for a few more days allowing us some final days of sun-soaking warmth.

Fall pushes in as the leaves begin to float to the ground and nature’s paint brush brings colour to the trees.

And of course the Trail Smoke Eaters drop the puck on their season tonight signaling the hibernation of sports fans who begin to migrate into large arenas for the winter.

Yet despite all those carrots dangling this weekend I can’t help but say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, that was summer we just had?”

We got off to a slow start and by the time the heat wave struck in late August, it was time for school bells to ring.

But the beauty of living in the Kootenays is that even in bad weather or a short summer at least you’re still living in the Kootenays.

As an avid motorcycle rider, I can attest that this wasn’t the best for early-season riding.

But again for the hundreds of beautiful sun-drenched rides we’ve had, it’s the odd rain-soaked ride that you never forget.

It’s probably a similar feeling to sailing on some rough water. Not too rough but enough for a soaking and some careful navigation.

Coming out of it often is reason for a big grin at the end of the day.

And that’s the way the summer unfolded.

There were some rough patches camping in May, although making it through a rainy weekend was still reason to smile.

The countdown to the end of the school year was somewhat subdued by the weather. It offered less opportunities for students to gather outside, enjoy the sunshine and pine for the upcoming summer fun. Then all of a sudden the school year was over.

July came in well but the lingering cloudiness kept everyone at bay somewhat. Holidays still went on and barbecues were still fired up but again some soaking always seemed to be nearby.

Funny yet huddled under a patio umbrella with friends watching one brave but soaked soul man the barbecue in the downpour will be a lingering memory.

Then came August and the promise of some sun-drenched days. Fortunately the thermometer showed some sympathy for the B.C. Seniors Games and kept the heat at a comfortable level.

I had a pit in my stomach when I saw the Christmas catalogue on that August morning.

But my gift came early in the form of the late-season heat wave.

Just like the rainy moments stick in my mind, so did sitting on the beach, kayaking on the lake soaked in sunshine and staring up at the stars at night.

I may be lamenting summer’s quick exit but don’t get me wrong, I don’t see it as an ending but rather a new beginning.

Don’t think of it as summer is over but rather what’s on the horizon

That’s the beauty of living in the Kootenays.