I blinked, took a deep breath and suddenly September was here again with its teasing, almost flirtatious cool weather, and occasional breezy gusts of wind. The air smells different when it comes.
September. My most favorite of months.
As a kid, it almost seemed like this particular month held in it some secret magical quality–like the entire month was one big gift waiting to be opened. New jeans for school. New school supplies. Sharpened pencils. Dried, prickly grass beneath my bare feet. Brown from August’s great heat. Purple rollerblades turning against the heated asphalt driveway behind our little house on Green Harbor. And then came high school Back to School Swim Parties and a college campus all abuzz with life and learning. Blankets laid out in the park with bags of chex mix and Norton Anthologies.
September always seemed to hold secrets just waiting to be found out. I like to think, in a whimsical sort of way, that this is the reason I came early that warm September day twenty-three years ago. Mother tells the story, and it makes me laugh. I came unexpected and forced her to drive herself to the hospital in a pair of pumps. The doctors all thought I was going to be a boy, but alas, there I came–female and four weeks early. I like to think that I came because I knew September held secrets. That I couldn’t stand a day longer in my mother’s womb without seeing what the world had to hold.
And that’s why, each year, September is my new year. Not January 1. To me, a new year begins with another year of life. Another year of resolutions and goals. Ambitions and dreams and new opportunities. A month of unlearned facts and secrets folded into daily life–each day a gift to be unwrapped energetically. Life changes rapidly. So far this month I’ve been given a new full time job with HON, have been reunited with several friends from across the globe, have spoken at a mission circle for some elderly women in Alabama, and have enjoyed the infamous Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks on several occasions. This weekend, I’ll celebrate the weddings of three friends. It seems appropriate to begin another year of life with the celebration of love and commitment. It also seems appropriate to eat tons of cake.
I dropped my father off at the airport the other day, and looking at me, he said, “twenty-three is a great number. It adds up to our family.” And I liked thinking about it in that way, somehow feeling like this would be a special year of life.
September never fails to bring me surprises and blessings. Bring them on! I’m going be staying put for a while, and I’m ready for an adventure right here in Nashville, Tennessee.