Looking Back from the Knife Edge of Summer

Sitting here this morning under steel grey skies I can feel the knife-edge of the summer. The autumn is so close—three days and the season will be officially upon us. Truthfully, looking at the world outside I think it’s already here. Finally, there is the slightest chill in the air. I can feel the cold and damp on my skin, stealing my heat through the cracked-open window.

Brian and I love the autumn, maybe more than all the other seasons combined. There’s so much to look forward to with the cooler weather—longer hikes, colorful leaves, a lack of mosquitos, and hearty meals at the end of long days on the trail.

And I do look forward to it. Absolutely. But this morning its imminent arrival also leaves me with a twinge of. . .


The glorious golden days of summer are coming to an end, and it is always in retrospect that I acknowledge how truly glorious they were.

In the moment there is too much to complain about: the heat, the humidity, the damned mosquitos everywhere, the clouds of gnats aiming directly for our eyes and noses and mouths as we navigate the trails.

But when all that is forgotten, the images remain to remind us of the splendor of a July afternoon. Take this photo as an example.

Fire Flowers by Brian Stricker – Click the image to see print and merchandise options at Brian’s shop.

Brian snapped this along the shores of the Ipswich River at the Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA. The absolute explosion of this flower—so reminiscent of fireworks against the deep green background—encapsulates everything I’m feeling today. It is the essence of summer—everything summer should be. Everything summer is. Triumphant. Joyful.


It’s not over yet. There are a few days to go. I think I’ll carry this one around with me today and look at it from time to time. I’ll remind myself of the glory that was and that will come again.

And next year? Next year I’ll vow to bask in the glory of the moment, rather than observe it from the knife edge.

Photograph by Brian Stricker

Words by Gregory Josephs

Tell us your thoughts! Do you appreciate the seasons in the moment, or are you always looking forward or backwards? Let us know in the comments below.

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