And then I blinked, and it was August.

In this crazy country, where summer is at its height when it begins and at its worst when you need it most, August feels positively autumnal. Just to prove this point, the tree across the street has decided to start turning red. The days, too, are suddenly noticeably shorter. I cannot escape the feeling that summer is over, and that before long my holidays will be too. September, with its rush of busyness and inspiration, with its demand for focus and action, with its need for hard work and early nights, suddenly seems just round the corner.

I’m not ready, I tell the tree as I stand by the window. I’m not ready, I tell the darkness as it falls, a little earlier than it did yesterday. I’m not ready, I tell the books I need to read and the plans I need to make and all the things I need to think of. I’m not ready. I need more summer, more idleness, more dreaminess and purposelessness, more time to drift and to just be. I’m not ready.

The tree doesn’t say anything, and neither does the night. The books stare silently. And as I stare back, I know this in my heart: just as surely as I will never be ready, I am as ready as I will ever be.