I'll be near Portland for a wedding this weekend. August is the month I associate with large gatherings, more than any other. I can remember at least five funerals, three weddings, and too many family reunions to count during Augusts. Lots of people I know have August birthdays, too. My dad's was yesterday.
This time of year is strange, especially in the Northwest. We finally get warm, sunny weather, but it's time to finish the vacation and start looking ahead. Kids are buying school clothes, the wool pants and cashmere sweaters are out in stores, and all of us university types are preparing for the students to return. I always feel a bit wistful in August, especially as it comes to a close. It's a month of endings and unrealized potential. But it also means that fall is coming. Fall is beautiful and colorful, calm and mild, and full of my favorite things: foggy mornings, sweaters, steamy coffehouse windows, hats and scarves, and lots of rain. Fall is a new school year, the start of the holiday season, and the promise of new beginnings.