I had forgotten so much about September in these past few years.
I had forgotten that those who can flee for beaches and mountains and just plain other places over Labor Day weekend, squeezing in one last breath of summer like pause. I forgot how quiet the block is, how fewer people show up for church.
I had forgotten the absolutely delightful sound of children screaming in fun on the nearby school playground; the posting of all the first-day-of-school pictures on social media; the sight of parent holding their kindergartner’s hand as they head to school for the first time.
I had forgotten the nostalgia and melancholy that whisper to me as the days are now visibly shorter, as the occasional cool night remind me of what is coming. I had forgotten that long-planted desire to buy a plaid skirt and mary janes.
I had forgotten how busy things get again for people, for families with kids in school, at church when all the programming starts up again and there are room schedules to juggle, and information to get out, and more demands on my time. I forgot how very extroverted I get in the fall.
Two years of a pandemic changed what I remember. In the midst of this weekend’s fire warnings across the state, I remember two years ago when the air quality index was literally off the charts bad. I remember the depressing silence of the nearby playground. I remember meeting everyone’s dogs, and then meeting those dogs’ people. I remember preaching to the tiny camera on my computer. I remember sleeping well and worrying a lot.
This September I am restless. I know I’m forgetting things despite my well cultivated to-do lists. I am restless for any weather other than skies that smell of smoke and have no color and host a pink sun. I am anxious to know if the families at church discovered other ways to spend their time on Sunday morning. At the end of summer, I long for a vacation.
So many September songs – I am not the only one who finds this a provoking month. “Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh, so mellow.” “Do you remember the twenty-first night of September?” “Wake me up, when September ends.”
Well, it is a transitional month and we are in a liminal time, so perhaps restless or nostalgic or sad, or excited, or eager, are all valid.
Maybe I’ll go buy some back to school shoes.