August is the month that proves whether you are a genuine Midwest lover. It is hot and humid, full of thick, heavy, earthy smells. It's sweaty, and the air is a bit hazy, the cicadas sing almost all day long and the sound of their song makes a long, lazy afternoon feel lonely in a good way. I grew up here in the Midwest. I fully admit that I am so relieved when the air gets cooler and the trees start turning and the porch is not an oven to sit on. But the other day we were out and about in the countryside and I was very stuck by all the beauty around me on this very hot and hazy day. It is familiar, predictable, home.
We have three great rivers so near to our home and we drove through the town of Grafton, IL whose boast is being the Confluence where the Mississippi and the Missouri and the Illinois rivers meet. All those amazing historic rivers right before my very eyes flowing into one another.
And very familiar cliffs on the river road that runs along them.
There is that mixture of vibrant, lush, rich, pervasive green in every shade...mixed with dried grass and brown spaces in the grass. So very much the picture of August. When we spent three weeks away from home out traveling in the Southwest one summer,where there is also a special kind of beauty, we were all so happy when we hit Eastern Kansas and the trees and grass turned GREEN again. That's when I knew that I loved the Midwest. Even in August.