Can you feel the lull? Could be that you’re by a pool in the land of far, far away. Or in a garden ‘working from home’. Or just enjoying a spacious commute. Or even recovering from a bit of bruising surgery (bunion, breast, shoulder) while everyone else is away. Wherever you are, August has a cerebral stillness to it. Some dread that; they see it as a slump. They see it as a window through which the madness – usually kept away by the cult of busy-ness – can clamber.
I am not, historically, good at August. With dread as my default setting, I panic about the prospect of holidays and then fizz within them. But, sitting here, not being asked to think that much or that deeply, lazy and fat in the knowledge that no one will ask much of me today, I’m finding that most of my intellectual muscle is flexed to avoid thinking about September.
The new term. New start. New opportunities and new pressures blending with old pressures. Projects and chores and ambitions. Mountains and molehills to climbs. The re-ignition of that Monday morning thought: if I can just get through this week then everything will be different. The crowded head and vulnerable heart. The rush and the buzz and the boredom. The nights closing in, the time ticking by. All heart-poundy stuff. Autumn; season of lists. Wistful. All the new terms. All the old fears. All the energy required. All the battery power demanded. Will it even make a difference? Am I charged or am I hopeless? And yet I know that, though life may change only infinitesimally, I change. I am up to it. The question is, am I for it?