There always seems to be something in the air in September.
New school supplies, football games, the leaves just starting to turn and oh yeah, cider and donuts … oh, and apples, too.
Spring gets all the credit as a time for new life, but fall brings a newness of its own and – for those of us who are a little older – maybe some nostalgia, too.
The calendar turns to September and my heart immediately travels back in time to Trapper Keepers and No. 2 pencils.
I always find myself looking back at old photos, remembering how upset my mother would get when I neglected to tell her about school picture day until it was too late for her to do something about the mop on my head, or to make sure my outfit was suitable for a photo meant to keep for posterity.
Even when I managed to make good wardrobe choices, my eyes were often closed in those photos, much to Mom’s dismay.
I have some school picture doozies, but not just because I failed to have my mother censor my hair and wardrobe. I am a child of the 70s and 80s, so I was destined for a pictorial history laced with embarrassing beauty and fashion choices.
It was almost as fun to swap those school pictures with friends as it was to secretly pass them notes in class.
I still have some of those once fresh, new notebooks now covered with doodles and the names of cute boys I can now hardly remember.
Inevitably, that song “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire will dance through my brain: “Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember? Ba-dee-ya, dancin’ in September. Ba-dee-ya, never was a cloudy day.”
Dancing in September. I think back to freshman year, wondering if I would be going to the homecoming dance, and all the butterflies in my stomach when someone finally did ask me.
I don’t really remember being this excited about September back in those days. I remember being sad that summer was over, but now those changing leaves take me back to a time when life was so much simpler.
Instead of worrying about paying my mortgage or keeping my cholesterol under control, my most pressing issue back then was navigating a path from one class to my locker to the next class, without needing a tardy slip.
The song blares on: “The bell was ringin’, oh, oh. Our souls were singin’.”
Do you remember never a cloudy day?
Instead of letting September lull me into a state of yearning for the simple, good old days, maybe this year I’ll let it be a reminder that it’s the simple things that make life magical and memorable.
So many of my great friends from Septembers past are still in my life. The leaves still turn. The cider and donuts and apples will still be as sweet. And the butterflies still come with every new experience.
I may not be that young girl anymore, but I can still dance through September, and let the stars steal the nights away.