August is a transitional month, beginning during the dog days of summer and ending with the anticipation of fall. We go from lawn sprinklers and barbeques to ruled lesson books and early-to-bed. We begin to think again about what we wear. We dress to blend-in with the foliage. Incongruously, fur trim appears on cozily-clad models in September fashion magazines while it's still ninety degrees outside, and freakishly, pop-up Halloween stores appear in long-vacant store-fronts, to the short-lived relief of desperate retail property owners and overly optimistic commercial real estate agents. In my part of town, the out-of-business La-Z-Boy Store becomes an emporium for naughty girl outfits. The empty Ethan Allen Furniture Gallery becomes the temporary home of macabre Edgar Allen Poe-inspired costumes.
During August, wild animals know what to do from natural cues. The days shorten. Sunlight becomes more oblique. Nights turn a bit cooler, dawns, a little fresher; first, at higher elevations, then, lower down. We humans, especially those more attuned to nature's cues, also sense that change is in the air. From the slowly diminishing daylight, our retinas and our pineal glands know that something is up.
Modern culture has developed its own set of man-made cues for seasonal change: Annual calendars. Holidays. Promotional cycles. For retailers, "Back-to-School" means stop having fun and start shopping.
Imagine how reanimating it would be to live by the natural rhythms and sensory pulses of the seasons, rather than by adjusting our behaviors artificially, at the behest of Culture.