Sunday, September 9, 2007

Happy New Year!

It must have been going back to school that did it. But don’t we all have fiscal years-- beginning in September--imbedded in our consciousness?

Oh sure, there’s the chronological year—Ending in December, beginning in January. New Years Eve, fireworks and all, champagne and black-eyed peas signaling the beginning of that new year.

But I think September begins another, just as deeply felt and deeply meaningful as any December New Year’s Eve.

As the August days zoom toward the end , and those lazy nights having dinner in the back yard get shorter and shorter, and it’s dark so soon you wonder where the day went, it feels like the end, doesn’t it? Of something?

And the ads for back to school fill the paper and the airwaves. And I always feel like I need new—pencils. And new clothes. (Although I always feel like I need new clothes. But that’s a different blog)

Something begins in September. No matter what age I am.

I do remember the clothes I wore on the first day back to school in—maybe 1963? When I was 14. No, still 13. It was still too hot in Indiana for my new all clothes—just because it’s back to school doesn’t mean summer weather is over. But I could not wait to wear my little black and white hound’s-tooth skirt and my big red sweater. I had new penny loafers and clean white bobby socks. My mother insisted it was too soon to wear it, that I would die in the heat. But I would not be deterred. I thought I looked great. I was all set for school, for sixth grade and my new classmates and maybe this year I would finally be deemed cool.

Then I forgot to brush my teeth. I just had time before the bus came to do it. I raced to the bathroom, got a mouth full of Crest—and dribbled a huge pasty glob of it down my front. My red sweater was…well you can imagine.

I frantically dabbed at it with a towel, thereby adding towel lint to the gunky mess. Let’s just leave the rest of it to history. It was a sad event. And I did not make it into the cool group.. (Although it wasn’t only the Cresty sweater. But that’s a story for another blog.)

And now, its September again. It’s beautiful here in New England. The pink and white roses in my garden are struggling to stay in bloom. The sedum are swarming with bees. The dahlias are taking their turns at being the stars of the garden, all lavender-edged white, and fiery red, and huge white blossoms that look like fireworks. The trees are still green, but as I look out my study window, I just saw a leaf fall, floating slowly to the ground. And so it begins.

The apples will be good soon. And the foliage will bring leaf-peepers from all over the world.

Even the sun sign for September is Virgo, the virgin. The symbol of changes to come, and new experiences, and innocence. And the time goes by so quickly now. Picking up speed.

In October, my second Charlie McNally mystery, Face Time, will be released! I can’t wait for you to read it. Soon we’ll race into Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas…and then that other new year. And it will all happen way too fast.

But isn’t September the anything-can-happen month? All you need is some new pencils and some new penny loafers. And to be careful brushing your teeth.

Do you have back to school memories? Have you ever gotten over the September cycle?

Have a wonderful September…and happy new year!


Hank Phillippi Ryan


Virginia said...

My mother alway loved Sept. because she got to put us kids back on that school bus. I never was ready to go back to school. Now that I am grown I know how my mother felt when she sent us back to school. School starts around Aug 10 around here now. It gets earlier every year. Sept. is a great month but the years end to fast now.

Susan said...
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Susan said...

September always reminds me of going back to school, that was what I looked forward to most. Being from a rural area that was when we got to see all of our friends, usual for the first time since school got out, in one group!

tam said...

September reminds me of my daughters birthday, my first born.

robynl said...

I love the changing colors of the leaves and wish that I once again lived where we once did and the leaves were even red. Here where I now live there are no red leaves or few if any.

Sue A. said...

I can't imagine living anywhere where there's no marked change of seasons. I enjoy watching nature put on it's shows with each season. Fall is a beautiful time of year here.

pearl said...

With the weather finally cooling down it is ideal and lovely. We can walk during the day instead of early mornings and evenings. Gardening is pleasant since temps are reasonable and I enjoy the gorgeous sunsets and the mornings are delightful.

deseng said...

What I love about September is the cooler weather. It is nice to be able to go outside and not sweat to death! Also, the bugs aren't so bad. I love the going shopping for the perfect pumpkin! Oh and the sunsets are gorgeous!