Buffy and I walked outside last night and felt the first breeze of autumn. We sniffed wood smoke in the air, and felt it; the end of summer. September has always been such a bittersweet month. It is the end of summer with the promise of new beginnings. It is the chance to make new friends and learn new things. It is new school supplies (especially those pink erasers!) and new shoes. It is the closing in of toes in stiff new sneakers.
For me, it has been the month of my husband's birth and the watching of countless children learning, growing, and moving ever forward. When I was a young mother, September became a month of sorrow, as I watched the Twin Towers fall. Then that sorrow hit closer to home, when I lost my father. After that, it became a month full of more bitter than sweet. Over time, the sweet returned. New students for me, new teachers for the girls. Life moved forward. Then exactly 10 years and 18 days after I lost my father, I lost my mother. That was the hardest blow September had dealt me.
Now, it is a month of contraries. We speed up to move forward while slowing down to reflect. September is the starting point of something new. it is a month of cautious hope.