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End of the Season
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For many people, Labor Day marks the end of summer, the resumption of the regular schedule of jobs and classes. For Mary and I, who finished school decades ago and work at home, such holidays are merely eroded signposts along a highway we no longer travel.

The season turned for us last week when the August heatwave broke and temperatures fell into the seventies. Now wood asters are blooming around the edges of the yard and though the trees appear green, when the wind blows yellow leaves drift down.

Although my schedule will not change, I still feel a pang when summer fades. Partly it is my dread of the approaching winter. Cold and snow and heating bills become less tolerable every year. More than that, though, I think I was conditioned during childhood to despair at the passing of summer's freedom. The reaction has become automatic despite there being no basis for it anymore.

Do we collect such automatic responses as we grow older? I suspect I am often flinching when I don't need to. Here I am fretting about snow that won't arrive until December, recalling classrooms I will never be forced to sit in again. I should be looking forward to the coming months of crisp, perfect weather, gorgeous fall foliage, and my not having to go to a school or office.

I realize I have an unhappy proclivity for turning my mind in whatever direction I can find something painful to worry me, whether past or future. I really should be trying to concentrate on the present.

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