This week a friend greeted me with “Happy New Year!” I was puzzled at first but now I get it and he was right I think. Somehow the beginning of September each year seems to be the start of a new year. Of course, those with school-age children orient their lives around the school calendar. September marks the time when daily routines become tied to school openings and closing, after school activities, and team schedules.
I don’t have school-age children any more, but I realize that l feel the dawn of a new year when September comes. The lethargy of the long hot summer days and evenings, while much looked forward to in June, becomes boring. An itch to get started again on activities that were left adrift in June is exciting. Perhaps it was too hot in the summer to get moving on projects; perhaps it was the fact that friends and colleagues were all operating on different schedules and were often away; perhaps it was just a necessary time to recoup and recharge. Whatever it is that summer gives to us, I believe most of us are anxious to get back to “normal” schedules come September.
Some might say that the cooler temperatures of September brings an end to things—gardens stop producing, leaves turn colors and fall to the ground, the heat gets turned on again, houses and equipment need to winterizing. I think another way of looking at these things is that they are just the preparation for starting the next year.
From September to early January, most of us look forward to many holidays, both secular and religious that fall in those months. At this time of year, in September, we start making our plans and preparations for these events. Come January, we are exhausted again and content with the steady plodding of the short winter days only to be reawakened again when the days get longer in spring. In my mind the summer culminates and fulfills the year’s promise with its lush greenery, bountiful gardens, days of outdoor living, and freedom from rigid schedules. That is the year that begins in September.