Summer’s End, by John Prine
Ends often come sooner than we would like. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. We’re both ready and not ready for the change of seasons. And at the moment, seasons—like time itself—have lost their demarcations. John Prine died two weeks ago, from COVID complications, an end come too soon for a most remarkable singer-songwriter. Admired by the likes of Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson and covered by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, and Joan Baez to name a few, Prine captured the unvarnished simplicity and pathos of living. “Summer’s End” is a plaintive invocation of loss and acceptance. Like life looked squarely in the eyes, the song is at once heart-wrenching and comforting. Many of us are home. Many of us are alone. God forbid that we be home and alone. But home, however it is formed, enfolds its wings around the lonely in a warm embrace.
What is the line between being alone and being lonely? What is the path home? Who is calling? And how do we answer?
Todd Breyfogle, Denver, Colorado