What’s So August About August?

From Rampart Park.

From Rampart Park.

To describe someone or something as august means you believe the person or event to have great importance, inspire reverence or admiration, or be worthy of respect. The long list of synonyms for august includes: distinguished, eminent, venerable, hallowed, illustrious, acclaimed, esteemed, impressive, magnificent, majestic, and lordly. Whew!

So why is the eighth month of the year called August? Evidently the Roman Senate changed the name of this month in an attempt to curry favor with Caesar Augustus, who completed the calendar reforms begun by Julius Caesar.

But does this last full month of summer merit its moniker? What’s so august about August? How does it inspire reverence or admiration? Oh, let me count the ways!

First of all, August is the month when summer reaches its fullness. It’s the month when the Black-eyed Susans, Colorado’s “lilies of the field,” flourish on the roadsides and spring up in the most unexpected places. In fact, it’s the month when beauty abounds.

Sweet little peach Andie gets ready to sample a Palisade peach!

Sweet peach Andie with a Palisade peach!

Recently we were invited to the home of friends who live in the Black Forest area of Colorado Springs in a wonderful log home surrounded by evergreen trees and lovely woodland gardens. As I gazed at their planters overflowing with blossoms of every color, and heard and watched the hummingbirds cavorting around their feeders, I breathed in the balmy evening air and thought, “Now this is summer. This is August.” Definitely a moment of reverence and admiration.

August is also the month of harvest. The month when we can find rows and rows of colorful, fresh produce at the farmers’ markets instead of just the vendors with their homemade soaps and honeys. In Colorado, August is the month we finally get to feast on Olathe sweet corn, juicy Palisade peaches, and Rocky Ford cantaloupe. All venerably acclaimed for their delicious, rich flavors. One might even describe the first taste of each as magnificent!

Liam and Peter in 2013.

Liam and Peter years ago!

And then there are all the darling “back to school” photos on Facebook and Instagram. Are those moments captured of great importance? Oh yes. How distinguished the children look in their new school clothes, toting backpacks with zippers that work. The hope that shines on those little faces that this year they will find a place to sit at lunch, make a new friend, like their teacher, and get to the bus on time, is hallowed for sure. And the loud, collective sigh of relief from all the parents once school is back in session could surely be described as impressive! Even those of us who remember when school didn’t start until after Labor Day have to admit that an important event like starting a new school year fits nicely in a month called August.

So we revere and respect you, August. We even dub you lordly because only the Lord who is the Creator of all could give us such an illustrious month! Come back next year, OK?

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  1. This might be the best one yet! You write so beautifully and I can see everything that you mentioned. August is beautiful here too but everybody is waiting for fall. Even 100° days are good thank you for air condition. Love you talk soon.

  2. Elizabeth H. Van Liere says:

    And here it is, August 29, 2019. A couple more days and it’ll be September, the beginning of autumn. God has given us so many wonderful seasons, each one has it’s own special time. I will admit to looking forward to cooler days and fall colors, but August has been the month I looked forward to when I could let the jackets and sweaters hang in my closet. So it is with life. Special seasons, special blessings, always more of God’s blessings to look forward to.
    Thanks for the input for August, Nancy. Makes me say YES I’m so glad I live in Colorado. Always enjoy reading what you’ve written. Betty

  3. Jan Keller says:

    Thanks for the reminder that August can be great … mine’s been challenging and sometimes it’s hard to see so much (or any) goodness! I must admit to totally enjoying this year’s Palisade Peaches!

  4. Peggy Ellis says:

    We’ve traveled a considerable amount in Colorado, between military duty and my husband’s professional organization. I have many memories of meadows filled with a glorious array of wildflowers. My head-shaking memory though is of a different kind. We were at the air force base outside Denver for two weeks on two occasions, both in early June. The first year was the year the Eisenhower Tunnel opened–two miles long and I don’t like tunnels unless I can see the other end when I enter it. Nevertheless, brave soul that I am, I said okay, let’s do it. One year later, I emphasize the length of time, we were back at the air force base, and the tunnel was closed for renovation!

    • Oh gosh, Peggy. That sounds like some of the road projects around here, too! And I agree with you about tunnels. Come back and make new memories!

  5. Shar Carroll says:

    We were married 51 years ago in August and my second son was born 47 years ago in August so August has always been a special month to us but I did not know it was “august”. Now I have a new word in my vocabulary! Thanks Nancy🤗

  6. Sandy Glynn says:

    I love August! I’ve got so many special people born in August, I will send them this blog so they know how special they are!! I also love how August sometimes teases us with hints of Fall here in Colorado Spring! It then goes back to its warm summer days, which let you know summer is not quite finished yet! I tend to enjoy harvest from our garden better in August because I realize the work James has put into his garden, you can taste the love, and you know that as the month ends so will the fresh lettuce, basil, and cucumbers. Yes, August is an admirable month. Thanks for pointing this out to us all.

  7. Because of your poignant and descriptive writing about the word august and the month of August, I will give much more reverence and appreciation to this beautiful, bountiful month. Thank you, inspiring Nancy!

  8. Pat Scott says:

    The only child I ever gave birth to arrived August 25, 1969. So August is an august month for me, but I have to say that being 9 months pregnant in August in TEXAS was more awful than august! Two words for Texas in August: hot and hotter! But having experienced August in Colorado a few years since then, I have to say Amen to your tribute to our 8th month. In Colorado, it’s a beauty.

  9. Jeanine L Michaels says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, as August is my birth month and that of my youngest daughter! However, I still think kids are being robbed of this great month and that school should not start until after Labor Day! Summers are too short around here and August is being robbed of its lighthearted splendor. Loved the article, Nancy, as always!

    • Agree with you, Jeanine! Especially since summer seemed to arrive late this year. Thanks for taking time to send a comment! God bless.

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