At last.

The summer solstice has come and gone. Today we commence a steady march toward darkness, the descent after a long, heady rise. Labor Day creeps toward us as the summer days slip away like beads from a necklace.

Every day, a little less sunlight.

Every night, a phantom chill in the air, lurking at the edges of your patriotic barbecues and your beach bonfires.

The Sweaty Season has barely begun, with its blinding, glaring sunshine and its thick, heavy air and its bugs - all those bugs! - yet it will meet its end all too soon. 

So catch your fireflies, summer children; hold them in a jar. Drink your margaritas, you sunshine-addled darlings. Wring the sweat from your clothes before snapping your post-hike selfies, you masochistic lunatics. Tell me you're having a good time as you sniffle and sneeze and the ragweed dances around you in a midsummer nightmare. Go on. Tell me.

As for me, I will abide. I will pick the gnats from my teeth and smile. I will slather my body in calamine lotion till I look like a newborn rat. I will shave my legs and watch with satisfaction as the blood flows down my calf when I inevitably nick my kneecap. I will wait this season out without complaint because I know that soon, autumn will be here, that elegant lady richly adorned in cinnamon velvet and fire, to take you in her arms and soothe your fevered body, your heavy limbs. 

The most dramatic season is coming, my little nectarines.

And then we shall be queens.