The gentle innocence is gone now. All the sweet girlish charm, the light footed dances across the budding greens are only a memory. Like the delicious and delightful days of young love, the season has matured into a force to be reckoned with. We have the power behind the woman coming forth now. Demanding our attention. Lounging on the fresh green grass is only a memory, along with strawberry kisses, and sparkling waters. The Matron of Moisture has been withholding her favors, and the grass is scorched and bone dry. The leaves hang limp on their branches as the day progress. It grows glaringly hotter as the sun marches west. Lakes have lost their crystal sparkle and lie sluggish and thickening...waiting the much needed freshness of rain. I haven't a name for the Contessa of "now". I can't relate to her as I do to the powers of spring,autumn and winter. She is foreign to me. I understand and accept the fury that can be winter in this fairly northern piece of the midwest that I call home.I know how to deal and how to play to stay in the game. For me, the seasons of spring and autumn are times of pure joy. Nothing about them is troubling or foreign. But NOW? These 'dog days' of summer? This thickening and ripening time? This 'time' that can pull you down to your knee and have you begging for mercy....this I have no place for. 'This' season I observe from a safe distance, not comfortable with it's intensity. And don't think it's that I don't understand...just the opposite. I understand all too well. Fire is about consumption. Its intent is just that. To consume. You, me, the vegetation everything, life as we know it. Yes, I know ALL about fire.