I paused this morning and realized the poem begins with September, not January. This is the first full month of school for many students and teachers, so maybe the nursery rhyme decided to follow suit. I've been an educator long enough to appreciate this extra New Year of sorts; it certainly takes more preparation and has more impact than January first. This September brings its challenges as we begin our year as we ended it, in pandemic mode.
We danced until the night
Became a brand new day...
Look at what you've done
Why, you've become a grown-up girl..."
Ah, Neil Diamond. My mother was a fan, and so am I. There's always a wistful longing in his voice as he sings his stories. Didn't we all grow up just a little more each September, as we crossed thresholds into new classrooms, cafeterias, colleges? We were a military family; I attended eight schools before graduating, and went to college six hundred miles away from my mother and brother--who then moved to Germany to accompany my father. I had no choice that September, that year, but to become a grown-up girl.
"Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away..."
I can't help but dance and sing along when this song plays on the radio. Another season begins this month, the equinox celebrated by Earth, Wind and Fire. Fall is my favorite season--the promise of summer's heat breaking with cooler nights, the happy preparation for the coming holidays, a moment to pause and be thankful. I will be decorating my house with fall colors this coming Labor Day weekend, even as temperatures threaten to remain in the triple digits.
Rabbit, rabbit is what we say on the first day of a new month, for luck. May this September, this month of beginnings, bring us all a bit of luck, a portion of hope, and in this pandemic--health.