Thursday, September 5, 2013

Another September, Another Chance

I love September, especially when we're in it.
Willie Stargell 

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost.
Henry Rollins 

I also love September, and yet I find myself often depressed by it. As one who has lived 45 years on an American school schedule, I feel September as my true New Year. This is when I evaluate how the last year went and promise myself that I will change the things I didn't like and hold on to the things I loved.

After 45 year it becomes easy to see that doing that isn't easy. The resolutions each year sound a lot like the resolutions of the years before them.  So hope and depression mingle, like the perfection that is my home area in September, when the fruits are ripe and scenting the air and free for the taking. When windows hang open and the temperature both mid-day and mid-night is comfortable without air conditioning or heaters. Life is perfect but also tainted by the knowledge of how quickly things must change, and when they seem perfect, even a small change feels like a loss.

Yet This picture of my Son reminds me that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  As a toddler he wanted nothing more than to be on a boat with a line in the water. So when grandpa took him and his brother out, he was in his element, and now, when he thinks I'd  rather have him in college like his brother, 
he is a commercial fisherman with a lot of hard dangerous work and he is not always happy, not always content, but he is where he was born to be and he is true and loyal to who he is in a way that makes me proud of him.

 Wouldn't it be boring if everyone made the same choices?  If the world had one color, or one species or one religion or one dream?

I find my dreams and hopes in my family and my students and in the books I write and the books I read. I don't think my way is better than yours though, if you never want to have a child, or write a book, if exercise delights you, and you like to get physically tested, I love to hear your stories and watch you work out.

At 50 I have lost enough loved ones to know that the sadness I feel in September is the knowledge of things slipping through my fingers and away, no matter how tightly I grip.  I know my enjoyment of the vivid sunflower will be bittersweet for the knowledge of the grey rainy winter on the way. I know I play with the young dog, and already see him old and limping and grey muzzled now that I have had a series of wonderful dogs live out their life as my friend.

 But I can anticipate more than pain and loss. I also have lived long enough to know the death in the family, is followed by another birth, that the withered sunflower stalks drop the sees that volunteer next springs green shoots, and next Septembers glory.

So I have been thinking about what I have and what I have not done. I was going to make the bucket list of the things I wanted to visit, and do, and own, but while it is true, I want to see and do more, I'm not too concerned with owning THINGS anymore So this is what I really want for my resolutions

 I want to get rid of the clutter the way my neighbor has spent the summer removing the old junker trailer.

 I want to enjoy the gifts of life, like free blackberries
 and beautiful friends
 and bright

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