August is the New Autumn

Is it just me, or is August feeling more and more like September?

I mean, yes, we aren’t getting the 35C (95F) degree weather heat warnings anymore. It’s starting to cool down to a brisk 22C (71F). But it’s not just the sudden change in the weather. There’s something else in the air.

There is a sense of urgency that wasn’t felt in June or July. Those two months were the months of soaking up the sun and swimming and picnics and berry picking and farmers markets and festivals and concerts. And any other summer activity. And yes you can do all of those activities in August and I recommended you do. But doing them this month doesn’t feel the same to me. There is a thought in the back of the mind that pokes its head out everyday that says, ‘summer is almost over are you ready for September? Are you prepared to get really busy with work and school?

I think the public school system schedule of semesters contributes to this feeling of summer is almost over hurry!

It’s hard to explain. Of course you can enjoy yourself in August. Heck, I’m going to the Dominican Republic during the last week of August until September 2nd. I plan on having a blast. And for a lot of people their routines probably won’t change much especially if they are working the same job year-round.

When we were young most of us started school in a new grade or new place in September. The “newness” of that experience, I believe, permeates our lives even in to our old age. We can’t shake that feeling of “newness” around this time of year.

I also believe that this sense of “newness” is more powerful than the January 1st New Year. And I often times say September is the new New Year.

I also think this sense of urgency might come from a feeling from our ancestral days that we need to start harvesting our crops for the tough winter ahead. There is also the new smells and colours of Autumn. Nights become longer. The leaves changing all around us reminds us of the change that usually happens in or lives around this time of year. And let’s not forget, when Fall comes we are always reminded that winter is right around the corner.

In some ways, winter means death. “[Winter is] associated with the death of the year (in the temperate latitudes at least), the death of crops, an ice age and the death of the sun.” This winter association with death suddenly becomes front and centre in Autumn. Our mortality is shoved in our face. This is the other reason for this ‘sense of urgency’ around this time of year.

I believe this sense of urgency and change we feel each September is seeping into August.
-weather changing
-trees and foliage changing
-careers and schools changing
-routines and habits changing

August is bittersweet, “Producing or expressing a mixture of pain and pleasure.” Pain because the endless-summer vibes are almost coming to an end. And Pleasure because change can be good for us, and usually is.

Enjoy the remaining few weeks of August while also mentally preparing for the Fall ahead. Prepare for this busy time of year like our ancestors did, with the help of family, friends and the community. Let’s make this transition and new ‘New Year’ one to remember.

UPDATE: my Colombian wife told me that in South American many countries start school in January. So perhaps this feeling of urgency and newness around this time of year is specific to North Americans? Interesting.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: