Already August, and august.
It means ripening into fullness. One gains sagacity while retaining vigor. There’s an attainment of stature and only the slightest turn toward decline. A pivot small enough to be ignored or mistaken for a signal of eternal reign.
I knew august in my fifties. The great surprise of post-menopausal zest. My body still capable of feats of endurance, my mind still believing in a brand of invincibility. At the top of my career, equipped to make more gardens, I tackled the even harder work of extracting myself from an unhealthy household and establishing my independence.
Looking in the mirror my fifty-ninth August, my hair the remarkable colors of hardwood ash, my eyes still true blue, I declared this the age I had been waiting for.
August, the tipping point into autumn.
Somewhere across 35th Street a large dog bays. Closer a squirrel greedily chews a green apple. Then dogs to the north take up the cry. What have they heard that I’m not equipped to?
The nation is august, too. The fruit is set. Only it seems there’s a widespread infection of smut and a plague of gnawing insects, exploiting the ripening, the harvest at dire risk.
I drop into silent prayer, a necessary practice learned in my sixties, that I might meet great loss with greater love.
May the legion of contemplatives, saints, mystics, and humble servants join in concert with the angels and ancestors to transmute forces of ruin into harvestable fruits of compassion. May rapacious destruction pupate into liberation. May a reciprocity of gratitude ripen into our most valued currency. And may the language of war be winnowed from our governance.