What do you think about August?
In 45 B.C., the Romans officially established the Julian calendar, naming this particular month after Augustus Caesar, son of Julius and founder of the Roman Empire. Many centuries later, Pope Gregory improved it a bit. Today, the modified version, called the Gregorian or Western calendar, is used by most countries for at least business purposes. There are many countries that use a more traditional or religious calendar in addition to the Gregorian (for example, the Chinese) and a few that may never adopt it.
Depending upon the calendar in question, August may or may not be the eight month of the year. Depending upon the society, it could be a time of celebration and harvest or a time of mourning and fasting. In the Hebrew calendar, Av is the fifth and saddest month, recalling Aaron's death and the destruction of both temples, amongst several other incidences.
While doing research for my current writing project, I learned that for the ancient Celts, August or Lunastal was a time of celebration and harvest and of the pagan god Lugh.
For some, it is high summer. For others, it is the beginning of fall. In fact, the traditional Japanese word for August, Hachigatsu, means "time of falling leaves." I imagine that for school children, with or without the equinox, the beginning of the school year marks the end of summer. For those who start back in August, it might well be a month of mourning, no matter their religious background!
The Catholic Church celebrates a major feast, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Orthodox Church observes the Feast of Dormition. There are many other religious and cultural celebrations in August, not to mention personal ones.
That's why it makes me rather sad when I see someone for whom all the days are the same, who never notices a difference until holiday decorations are impossible to ignore. We cannot halt the passing of time, so why not try to make the most of it, squeeze the best from every day, month, and season? If that seems impossible, remember that such times and feelings will also pass.
There is a season for everything, a time for every purpose under the heavens. -- Ecclesiastes 3:1
Wherever you are and whatever your traditions, I wish you a wonderful August!
Surely, the past, present, and future connect in this miraculous state we call life. In this light, history and all human experience are ever-present. Wouldn't it be nice, then, if we could enjoy each other, if we could appreciate and celebrate our differences? Let us love! Let us have fun. Let us toast each other and wish each other well. Now, in our awareness, is the time to be happy, to do our best, to live fully to our purest, highest standards.