“Today is the first day of August. It is hot, steamy, and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But…after a heavy rainfall, poems titled ‘Rain’ pour in from across the nation.” -S Plath
This used to be the sixth month, un-creatively called sextilis in the later Roman calendar. Naming the unnamed winter months January and February rendered the number-named months meaningless, recklessly incorrect (examine Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec). Quintilis became July in honor of Caesar, and Sextilis became August, named for the other, more venerable Caesar.
August: noble, majestic, perhaps from the Latin avis and garrire, birds talking or singing as they fly over our lives. The old English word for this time of year means weed month, coming after early mildness and later mildness, which I suppose leads to weeds in the gardens of England. Here in the Pacific, August finds us two months deep into hurricane season, usually hot, steamy, and wet. And maybe full of poetry and waves.
August 2, 2020
M– texted about meeting early on the southside. He checked the usual spots but we ended up meeting at Mahaʻulepu at 7:00. The water was blue and white, like the sky, and the waves looked fun. Low tide was at 8:03 a.m., dropping to -0.12 feet and the moon will be full tomorrow, Hoku, but today it is Akua, the first night of fullness.
We saw O– fishing in front of the house as we walked. He pulled up a fat oama just as we passed and said hello. A good day for fishing and a good day for planting root plants like uala and kalo. M– gave some side eye to the tent farther down the beach as we walked across the reef. Too many people think they can just play adventure and camp or walk wherever they want without actually knowing where they are. I know where I am when I can hear the sea or paddle in it, so we paddled and talked and surfed. Conversation today settled on the pandemic and the asinine decisions being made regarding schools.
I took my new board out, the Seaside, and it was beyond fun. So loose and fast but I felt completely in control, enough to push my turns and snaps harder than usual. Wave after wave, I seemed to just be in the perfect spot, tight to the face, right under the lip, snapping the tail through the tops on my come backs. M– paddled in around 9:15 and I stayed a while longer, paddling in as I noticed a couple walking their boards down the hill, startling the nude sunbather near the house.