I am grateful for September. I love September. Having said that, I was always sad to see my girls go back to school, sad to see the bikes abandoned next to the empty swing, sad to see the ponies wandering without little bronzed bare legs bouncing against their sides, sad that sliding down the stack of round bales, despite being told not to, was over, sad that I couldn’t eavesdrop on the giggles and discussions about the day’s plans. I loved the freedom of summer holidays, the lack of routine, the impromptu adventures if only down the back lane. But September is a fresh start, more than any other month for me, even more than New Year’s Day.
September is new pencils freshly sharpened, crisp new paper and the promise to write neatly for the whole year, a concept that seemed to go astray before September was gone. September is new socks and fresh hair-cuts and new shoes. September is a new teacher, a teacher who hasn’t yet discovered what we’re not very good at, be it telling time or the thirteen times tables. September is about a fresh mind, a blank slate, an open-mindedness about what your favourite colour might be or sport or subject, though mathematics always topped the list. September is new friends and new ideas. September is a month filled with hope and anticipation at what I might accomplish, what I might imagine. September had me cleaning out drawers and restacking books and lining up shoes and making my bed as though I was in the army. Though school days are far behind me, the sensation remains.
When I see the stacks of loose leaf paper at every store I enter I am compelled to buy, and I can’t resist or struggle to resist because the need for loose leaf has long passed. I sometimes convince myself that perhaps some need still remains, as if a pack of loose leaf might come in handy for making lists or writing or just having. And dividers, life is more complete with dividers, the pastel-coloured ones that never change, not the ones with plastic tabs to insert a subject title into. Some things are just too perfect to be fussed with.
September weather is the best parts of summer without the mind-blowing heat, without the bleaching sun, without crowds and cramming activities into every moment because summer is so fleeting. September is deliciously cool nights where we pull up the blanket and warm fragrant days. The leaves start to change and it’s as if a bright light comes on in the forest. September is the slowing down with acceptance that we have done all we possibly could and now it is time to exhale and relax and just be. September is long walks in the cool morning, pulling on a light jacket just to be sure. September is crickets, but we’ll forgive that slight error in judgment, especially the ones that get under the fridge.
Though the events of September 11 forever changed the image of September in the hearts of many, as if the world was forever blemished by the horror that can happen, the cruelty we can heap on each other, still we give thanks in October, thankful that we had a whole thirty days to bask in the perfection of September. October is a whole different kettle of fish.