There’s something about a “Fall Sky” at the beach. Have you seen one yet this year? I saw my first one last week. Here in the heat and humidity of the late South Carolina summer, a Fall Sky finally arrived. It’s unmistakable, and irreplaceable… and speaks of the promise of cooler weather, good surf and sparse crowds at the beach. It also speaks of the promise of football on TV, chilly evenings when you need a sweater and a fire in the fireplace (or fire pit).
I spent my growing up years during the summer on the beaches of Avalon, New Jersey. To me, there was nothing as beautiful as a Fall Sky on the Jersey shore. Those final days of August and into early September were very melancholy and somewhat sad for this young man preparing to say goodbye to his summertime friends as I made the transition from the carefree summer back to the responsibilities of school. In early June the summer stretched out in front of me with no thought of it ending. In late August the Fall Sky reminded me to begin the countdown of the final days and hours before it came to an end.
Of course, Labor Day weekend offered us one more opportunity to come together to enjoy what was left of the summer. But in Avalon, the South Jersey beach town where I spent my summers, on the Tuesday after Labor Day the town became a ghost town. The place cleared out. The locals got their town back as the rest of us went back to the reality that is our regular lives.
My last couple of summers as a lifeguard in Avalon I hung around working the beach patrol “skeleton crew” in which we kept a few of the beaches open with lifeguard protection. I would arrive at college a week or two late but it gave me a few more days to put off the reality of summer’s end. But the summer finally always came to an end, with lots of September “Fall Skies” as a reminder.
I will always love the Fall Sky. It always reminds me of the joy of my youth and the promise of good surf and a new summer adventure somewhere over the horizon.