And just like that, the summer's over.
Two days ago, another monsoon blew through central Maine; in its wake the temperatures dropped by about ten degrees, and the humidity dropped by an astonishing 40 percent.
That part of it is a joy: for the better part of three months, the humidity has been hanging in the upper 80 percent, low 90 percent range, essentially turning Maine into a bayou for the whole summer. I've lived in the state for about 50 years now, and never experienced a summer like this, where the house had to be kept shuttered even at night and the dehumidifier became the most important appliance in the place.
It was the kind of summer to make one feel almost glad that the summers are getting shorter, as they seem to be. (Why is that? As you get older, 'tis true that the years fly by faster and faster, bur why is it that winter never seems to get any shorter?)
The monsoon was just one of about four that swept through here this year. That's different, too. We used to get rain. It could last a day and drizzle steadily but not violently. Now we get nothing but thunderstorms and downpours of the most intense kind, with the rain gushing down and creating a river, a waterfall off of my roof. It's fun to watch, and here in town the power almost never goes out, so I don't have that worry anymore; but it's different, very different, from the summers I remember growing up at the old house
This last Big Storm didn't just take the humidity: it took the summer. Suddenly it is cool and dry; just as suddenly, the whole character of the light has changed. At nine AM it arcs through my bedroom window at almost the same angle as at late afternoon. The day is notably shorter. I see leaves on my crazy-branch backyard tree already turning yellow. Here in the middle part of the afternoon the shadows are already long and the crickets already chirping.
The growth has stopped. The atmosphere is that of Quiet Waiting.
This is perhaps my favorite time of year. It came overnight. I suppose it will pass just as quickly.