I became aware of it being late summer by virtue of a meteor shower, a ten degree drop in the daytime temperatures, and a rainy day. There were other little omens; the shift of light and shadow along the valley floor and surrounding mountainsides as the sun tracks across the sky-those incremental shifts in the orbit-cooler mornings, the scent of woodsmoke in the air on some nights. Words like autumn and snow begin to creep into the local lexicon of our Sahel once more.
The children are starting back to school. My daughter is beginning her senior year, which carries its own set of macabre in my worldview. It also means one is less likely to see gaggles of mewing, eking, unruly and puking babes amongst the crowds of tourists. At this point, with just two weeks before the unofficial end of summer-and but a few short shopping days before my birthday, I want a pony, by the way-one begins to see what sempi refers to a the grandparent tourists.
Grandparents, empty-nesters, and those who generally avoid individuals who are not yet of adulthood in the growth rate of the species or the eyes of prevailing laws of civilized society. The next wave in the ebb and flow of the summer tourist season. Part of the cycle.
They still ask questions. Still want to be entertained. They still spend money.
Things have not really dropped off, and, won't really, until the day after the holiday weekend. That's when we all get to catch our collective breath until the aspen begin to change and another wave of lookie-loos swarm into the mountains like ravenous locusts upon ripe crops. Then it'll be the snowbums with the first flakes. Then, once again, will come summer.
The cycle continues, and there's a strange comfort I find in that...