I can tell summer is over. Not by the falling temperatures (we hit 100 degrees in the Black Hills this past week) and not by the school supply lists which have been popping up at all the usual spots. Rather, I know when summer is over when the quiet returns to the Hills.
The Black Hills of South Dakota are known for its beauty. And it is beautiful. We are also home to one of the United State’s most recognizable monuments — Mt. Rushmore. Thousands of people visit there each year, mostly in the summer months. The same can be said for South Dakota’s Badlands, for the Crazy Horse Monument, for Custer State Park. All beautiful, amazing, tourist spots.
But its the lack of noise which falls like a hammer by the third week of August each year which brings home the fact that summer’s days are numbered. The Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is my personal “final milestone” of the season.
This year was the 70th annual event and visitors came from all over the world to attend. Can you imagine one little town of 7,000 people swelling to 500,000 almost overnight? Or more??? Welcome to Sturgis!
Yes, the Sturgis Rally is only a week, and it takes place at the beginning of August. When the bikers leave, however, summer seems to leave with them.
To be truthful, I’m not even sure where the summer went. It seems like just yesterday I was bemoaning my snow-packed driveway and now it’s time to winterize the car again.
This rush of time seems prevalent in other areas of my life, as well. I’m pretty sure it was this time last year when my daughter got on the bus for her first day of kindergarten. She’ll be a Senior when school starts Monday. Gone are the days of Legos and Barbie Dolls. They have been replaced with cell phones and iPods.
I think there is a lesson in all of this — enjoy the moment. It’s gone too soon. Alice Morse Earle penned these famous words we should all live by: “The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”
May you enjoy the gift today will bring!
Nichole R. Bennett is the author of Ghost Mountain, available on Amazon.com or secondwindpublishing.com