I know, summer's been ending for weeks, as MSU and LCC got back to work. But the first roar of the school bus always means summer's end to me.
One year, on Labor Day, our community pool was about to close for the season. It had been a long, glorious summer, our kids just the perfect age to participate in all of it -- swim meets, sharks and minnows, hanging on the snack bar window, rocketing off the high dive. There were about 20 children in the pool when the final whistle blew. But they weren't ready for it to be over yet.
Slowly and reverently as their parents watched, they formed a long parade and slowly swam around the perimeter of the pool. And as the lights flickered on to illuminate their progress, one girl stopped at each light, dipped below the surface and kissed it farewell. Summer ended with that solemn parade.
Now it's time for something new, and for the same old rituals as well. The first home football game is next Saturday. We'll bless the Sunday School teachers in church next Sunday. And things will rev up and start to get humming again.
But I hope each of us can take a moment today to say farewell to summer in a way that works for you, that honors the beauty of the season, that prepares you for what God is about to do with you next, as fall approaches.