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The August Mystery

There’s something about the month of August. I don’t know if it’s personal to me or if it’s inherent in August. But there’s something magical about this month. For those of us who live on the American school calendar, it marks both the end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year. It’s warm. It has a January kind of feel in that it’s still summer, holding on to beach and warmth and short pants. But it also looks forward to the coming school year: new ideas, fresh projects, students whose names I don’t yet know but who will soon be in my daily conversations.

While August is one of our 31-day months, it often seems the briefest. Perhaps because I’m wanting to hold on to summer. For me, August has always meant the beach, bodysurfing, the waves I love, the sun I love. It has always meant another birthday. This August also carries a rich kind of love.

August is still one of the green months. I love this too. But the August green, at least in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, where we spend so much time, is a well-worn green. The green of April and May can be electric. It has a vibrancy, almost a buzz. The August green is slower. It holds a quiet, gentle reminder that it will not be here forever. August is all green but it is beginning to soften toward September. Other colors are to come.

While this August, the world seems afire in violence and anger, I am savoring this beautiful month. I’m not hiding from the broken world; I’m looking deeply into the warm, joyful days, only August offers.

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