Another passage of summer

Sep. 03, 2013 @ 06:12 PM

It is about time. It is about wanting more time, not wasting any time and wondering how time goes by.
Again, another passage of summer has occurred. Oh, what of these 13 years of writing of the passage of summer. And what of these years living the passages of summer from childhood to adulthood.
Summer is a time of celebration, but one that passes too quickly. By all accounts, the fish still will bite past Labor Day — even though they did not bite last week or a month ago.
Where we embrace the long weekend transition from August to September as a manner to celebrate labor, life goes on in the outdoors. Time goes on, too.
Time becomes cherished and remembered, and it becomes the focal point of rushing.
In recent days, hunters have gathered in the anticipation of the opening day of dove season and later archery season for deer, which became conversations of hope and soon-to-be reality.
Somewhere, things have been rummaged through. Dust has been moved by warm breath, and palms have been dirtied with cleaning and such. During this time, a soft cloth has polished the scratches from many seasons in the field.
A bucket with a turning pad, a vest weighted with shells, a cooler, a camera and snacks that one never should eat have been gathered.
The passage of summer in the outdoors is synonymous with the first volley of attempts from a hunter drawing aim on a passing dove. In these early days of September, eyes will ascend skyward and doves will serve as the focus of attempt.
Soon, legs will ascend skyward to places hidden amongst the leaves. In the shade and coolness of the late summer woods, hunters will wait with bow and arrow in hope of focusing upon an early season deer.
It is inevitable that the days will shorten, the nights will cool and football will last long after the season opener. Yet the passage of summer is as much an opportunity to slowly transition into hunting, as it is an opportunity to remember and cherish what was the season of summer.
I penned my first column for this paper 13 years ago, this first week in September. It was and has remained an exercise in passion and a devotion to expressive detail.
Then, the focus was on describing the manner in which doves are hunted. The focus of my writing has evolved into my own voice and the manner in which the outdoors affects an individual’s life.
The passage of summer is not just about dove season, the reconnection between friends and the fellowship of hunters. Instead, this transition from one season to the next is the reality that life goes on and that fish really do bite after Labor Day.
Between the milestones in the life of a hunter are many pebbles, turns and transitions. This hunter relates to the opening of dove season as another stone placed upon my walk in life.
For another hunter, the opening of dove season may be the placement of a stone that mournfully marks the passing of a man or dog, and those first few moments afield are spent in personal eulogy.
Summers feature the urge to be shirtless, fish until sundown and have toes in the sand.
Still there is something reflective about the arrival of hunting season that becomes immediately fad-like and opportunistically memorable.
From the shade of a tree, the sky is blue and the wind is still. The mosquitoes frolic and play, and the doves fly further away. One sits as feet become still and rest.
The seasons arrive and the seasons go. Still, it is the passage of summer that I love so.
Enjoy your time outdoors.
You may contact Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.