A farewell to summer

Farewell, Summer.
I know I’m about a week early with my adieus but it really does feel like Summer days are gone.
On Facebook, parents are posting first day of school pictures of their kids.
On television,the back-to-school commercials have been blaring for weeks.
And in my backyard, the fireflies have quit playing tag in the lilacs.
Maybe they were never really playing tag, but it sure seemed like it. I would glance up from my book or an episode of “Major Crimes” and their little bug lights would be flickering throughout the lilacs — in and out, in and out, in and out. You’re it, Firefly Number Three.
It was a reminder of neighborhood tag, “Starlight, Moonlight,” and romps in the twilight when we played in the streets until mom or dad called us in for bed. As long as there were fireflies, flickers of memory made Summer hang on.
But after a summer of intense firefly activity in my yard, I’ve noticed their absence in recent days. No little flickers of light to remind me that this is the season for spending time outdoors. No phosphorescent shrubbery to lure me to the window. Even the basketball from next door has stopped bouncing.
So, farewell, Summer. I’m ready for Autumn.
Yes, I can say Autumn, that fancy word for fall. When I wrote for a newspaper, that was forbidden. But fall is not a good enough word for how I feel about crisp September nights, breezy October days, and the colors of leaves who also know that Summer is gone.
So I can rest easy with another Summer gone. But, Autumn, I expect you to stick around long into November. I won’t forgive your early departure as I did Summer’s. I’m making room for you in the yard, packing up extra flower pots, collecting up the unused hoses and cleaning up the last of Summer’s projects.
Stick around, Autumn. We’ve got bikes to ride, leaves to rake, and walks to take. And we can’t do it without you.