Last Chance Summer…

Erin Schaden
3 min readSep 23, 2022

I know, it is usually called Indian summer, but I did some research and that is now considered racist and offensive. I have no desire to propagate anything that makes anyone feel less than…so I am adopting the above term to describe what is now my most favorite time of year.

It is now officially fall. The Equinox just passed and we are on our way to winter. But summer is still here, holding strong.

I looked at the weather this weekend and it will be 80 at the beach. The air is cool, announcing fall’s arrival regardless of what the thermometer says. I have been sleeping with my windows open for the past week and I wake up chilled and cold but happy. Such a great feeling, snuggled in my bed, warm, while the outside world is down right chilly.

This last gasp of summer feels like such a gift. Like summer feels a little badly about the 108 degrees it put us through a few weeks ago and so now is granting us a reprieve of both summer and fall. It is warm but the air is cool so it feels like a hug. And it is chilly but sunny and everything has this swirling air of promise. The dog days of summer are over and fall is being held at bay, for a little while longer.

One of the things about living in Southern California is that it is usual to be able to spend October and November at the beach. Soaking up the sun, enjoying some nice swells that arrive and just marveling at the weather. I mean it is nice here pretty much year round, so it would be easy to let Last Chance Summer just pass by without further commentary. But I can’t.

Fall has always been my favorite season. I have no real reasons why. My birthday is in the fall so maybe that is where it started. But I have always loved it. And Fall in California is just the best! I mean we can’t compete with the East Coast for the fall foliage but the weather here rivals the sights, at least to me.

There is something about walking the beach in September/October wearing your bikini and being aware that it is Fall. It feels like you are getting away with something. Like you are doing something unlawful and no one cares. Hell, they are right there with you supporting you in your strut down the beach defying the seasons.

I intend to spend at least one day, if not two, in homage to Last Chance Summer this weekend. I will soak up the magical remnants of summer while also enjoying the crispness of Fall’s arrival.

I know, perhaps, I am making more about this than it really warranted…but I don’t think so. I am invigorated and dazzled by this time of year. It makes me happy. It makes me feel alive. And it makes me hopeful about life, my life. And I am for anything that brings that feeling to the surface.

Life moves pretty fast. Seasons come and go…getting a last chance at summer feels like such a gift. A unfurling of energy that didn’t get properly spent when the heat of summer was upon us. Now, before I prepare to pull back into myself for the cold of winter, I enjoy one more moment of sublime living.

For me the seasons are like the archer’s cycle: Summer brings its heat and grit, releasing us to Last Chance Summer where we can really enjoy ourselves, then fall arrives encouraging us to come out and play for a little while longer. Then Winter sets in as when the archer pulls back the bow, a retreat into self for the colder months, staying more indoors and enduring the darkness that comes, waiting, always waiting until spring arrives and allows for all that was pulled back and retained to be released with mastery into the new season of our lives. And thus we return to summer’s glaring heat to being again.

I think I have said it but I will say it again: I love Last Chance Summer. It makes me feel alive and a little like I am getting away with something. A delightful treat that feels so self indulgent. And you will find me outside, enjoying every single last gasp of summer there is to be had…



Erin Schaden

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