It never takes long after the solstice to start noticing that the days are getting shorter. I think this is one of the things that contributes to late July feeling so nostalgic: you can feel the days slipping away, little by little. Even though we have at least two more months of summer weather, the optimism of June already feels like a distant memory, slipping away just like the daylight. Don't get me wrong; I savor this time of the year for this very reason. Not even the dead of winter can rival the wistful feeling of late July. And other kind of optimism is right around the corner in August--the kind that leads to the beginning of the new term and towards wonderful fall days and cooler weather. But July is too early to be the run-up to autumn, and can only be felt as the decay of summer.