When we lived in Philadelphia, it was always a treat to open the Inquirer around this time of year and see how cartoonist Tony Auth would capture the end of season. Always humorous, yet poignant, Auth knows how to convey that keen sense of sadness that comes with leaving the shore and returning to school, not merely because the fun is over but, more significantly, because life is urging us on at its own pace, not ours.
As C. S. Lewis writes in The Screwtape Letters: "The humans live in time, and experience life successively. To experience much of it . . . they must experience change." Thus, Lewis explains, God has given us the seasons, which strike a balance between our need for change and our longing for permanence: "each season different yet every year the same. . . . always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme."*
Here are a couple more end of summer Auth favorites that I have been saving in my scrapbook for many years. I appreciate Auth's implication that in addition to the inevitability of seasonal change, a bit of each season is always lying just beneath the surface of every other season as well (click on each cartoon here and above to enlarge for details):
on the First of September:
when the woodbine twineth
and the whacky - doodle mourneth."
(If anyone knows a source for this rhyme, please tell!
This Google Doodle captures the spirit!)
Around this time of year,
my brother Bruce always reminds me to listen to
*Mother Earth and Father Time
from the animated Charlotte's Web
I think you'll find that it matches right up with
Tony Auth's drawings and the C. S. Lewis passage.