The Lesson of August

There is something glorious about August. For those of us whose lives are marked by the academic year, August marks the beginning of the end of summer. It’s warm. It’s alive. It’s green. August teaches me to savor everything. August is thirty-one days of bliss. While it marks the beginning of the end, it’s not the end. Where I live, September is beautiful too but August has it. August is at least three weeks of freedom: write, read, nap, run, don’t run, cook, plan, draw, write some more, read some more.

In Washington, D.C., August can be hot and humid. But I still love it. I think of the cold I’ll face in January and February and I willingly welcome the blanket of humidity August brings. This month, I’ll get up early each day to run on a trail in the woods near my home, or at the beach for one of August’s weeks. This month, I have finished a multi-year writing project so I’m just realizing I can focus on other poems. Sometimes, when you work on one project for a long time, it takes a while to fully learn that it is complete. You can begin, in small moments, to turn your attention to new ideas, new poems.

Rock Creek Park, one of my important places on earth, is perfect in August. You can feel the temperature drop as soon as you drive into the park. The thick green woods, the sun-blocking canopy above you, all this cools, soothes, and heals. I’ll take August’s lesson seriously this year and I’ll savor, slowly revel, love and meditate on the beauties of August.

This August, I’ll savor. I’ll savor everything.


Photo: J. Ross, Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C. August 2017

Published by josephrossnet

Poet & Teacher. Author of four books of poetry: Raising King (2020) Ache (2017) Gospel of Dust (2013) Meeting Bone Man (2012)

One thought on “The Lesson of August

  1. As always, beautifully written, Joe. Definitely reminds us all to take the time to relax and savor what we have. I can definitely relate to your comment about ending up a long project…..I cannot believe the relief it is to have our second book finished!! Looking forward to your next project.


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