September 9, 2012

Songs for the End of Summer

Elegantly-made or sorely-felt, this time of year is all about transitions. It is a time of year that makes me think of quiet transport, like sitting in a passenger seat on the way home from one of the last swims of the season. I’ve got that to-the-core chill and we drive home the scenic way with the windows down, my hair wet down my back. It’s like waking up from the sweetest sleep. The heat of the day has finally burned off, and I’m ready to eat something warm. Probably fried chicken.

There are five seasons in Chinese medicine. The fifth season, the one we enter now, is late summer. Here’s what my kinda weird book says on the topic:

Late summer itself is a short season, but it can be a time of intense metamorphosis in nature and within ourselves…During transitional periods, it is especially important to stay centered, a state of being in contact with the Earth that we call “grounded”…Centering has to do with finding balance in which we are aware of our polarities, the yin and yang qualities of Earth and Heaven, left and right, inner and outer.

This is a transition I always feel keenly: the slow softening of the light, an edge of coolness in the evenings or on a breeze, and the way I can always feel myself savoring something I can never quite put my finger on but am certain is the end of one kind of thing and the beginning of another.

These are the songs for that.

Don’t see an embed? Here’s a link to the playlist on Spotify.

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  • Alexis S.: I have always felt this transition so much stronger than any other of the changing seasons. Tumultuous and beautiful, all at one time. Thank you for sharing :).5 years ago

  • Amanda: I’ve always been a fan of this one by Dar Williams: years ago

  • sebastian: This time of year is when I always remember that at heart, I’m a Californian. Booooo Winter!5 years ago

  • megan: this is both my absolute favorite time of year and also the most melancholic (maybe i kinda like that part, too, though?). a little bit clinging to summer, a little bit excited for sweaters, a little bit weepy generally. i like the idea of it being its own little season — seems more appropriate.5 years ago

  • Melissa @ Hilltop Hausfrau: hmmm…thanks for the giftie…love to hear what other girls are listening to…

    Dunno…I sorta love this time of year…could be that my preparations for Oktoberfest are in full swing already…nothing wrong with an Oktoberfest, right?!5 years ago

  • Amanda, Dar Williams! Haven’t thought of her in ages. Thanks for the sweet reminder.

    Sebastian! Winter’s pretty far away still, and remember: a sunny, cozy fall comes first.

    Megan, Melancholic is the perfect word for it, and it’s one of my favorites too. The melancholy feels so poignant.

    Melissa, I love this time of hear, too, but having something to look forward to in the fall makes it feel all the sweeter.5 years ago

  • Laureen: Loved starting my week off with this playlist! Thanks, Sarah!5 years ago

  • Alyssa: Thank you for another perfect post. This spoke directly to how I have been feeling recently. Our transition period here in Alaska is a little faster than the transition of my soul, but that’s okay. Our leaves have mostly changed to yellow and the frost is on the grass and in the air. I got in one last great hike of the season and I think I am finally ready for fall.
    I think I will recklessly throw my heart into fall this year.
    Have a fabulous Fall day, Sara!5 years ago

  • Shauna: here in the city of the Angels where it has been almost 100 every day the past two weeks, this time of year always finds me yearning for a change in the weather. feels like summer drags on just a little too long:)

    I love hearing everyone’s stories about this time of transition in other parts though…gives me something to look forward to!5 years ago

  • Annie: This was beautifully said Sara. Late summer/early autumn is definitely one of my favorite times of year. Growing up in the midwest where the seasons are more pronounced –the weather was both heavenly and golden. It was Indian summer where you had relief from heat and humidity but not the biting cold of late fall. Leaves were starting to turn and the smell of wood burning fireplaces was in the air. This season also brought purpose and structure with school starting. I loved getting a brand new passel of school supplies: a new pencil case carrying freshly sharpened #2s (we had to have #2s), crisp untouched notebooks, and brand new textbooks full of promise. The season reminds me of twilight- the soft fading of a bright and full day emptying itself of all burdens into the coming night. A peaceful contented time much like how you described it like riding home in quiet transport. And it holds the delicious anticipation of the holiday season where you can hold it in your imagination–much like the feeling I had when I selected all the toys I wanted in the Sears catalog but knew I wouldn ‘t get them all. It did not dampen my enthusiasm for what could be.5 years ago

  • geek+nerd: I always adore your mixes, Sarah. I’m listening right now!5 years ago

  • Laureen: Totally digging Deep Time by Gilligan… I think I’ve listened to it 10 times so far this morning.5 years ago

  • Tall Girl: Thanks to you and your weird book. 🙂 It´s definitely transition time for me – from honeymoon to “real” life and being a wife. AND… this music is the perfect sound track for this evening, our last night at the beach. There is even a big storm blowing in.5 years ago

  • art and lemons: I keep reminding myself to surrender to fall, this year, it’s a challenge. I would rather drive home from the cape listening to this mix with the windows down and wind whipping through my hair. Instead I’m bundling up in a sweater today and embracing the chilly rain with coffee and this mix.5 years ago

  • Anne Zimmerman: Goodness, that was just what I needed to read this evening. Thank you.5 years ago

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