Here We Are Again
Dying of Cuteness

Sentimental Gentle Winds: A Riff on Time

(Here's a soundtrack for you.)
(Because you'll likely be singing it in your head by the end of this post anyway.)

This morning, in my laundry room, I turned over a new month in the calendar I keep there. 

September.

IMG_0634

(Big sigh.)

Usually, in normal times . . . the Before Times . . . September always felt like the start of things; a more real "new year" for me than January ever tends to be. 

I'm sure it's that starting-school-again, academic kind of mind set that has never left me. September always feels like a fresh start to me (a "clean slate," as Gretchen Rubin calls it). After a summer break (because doesn't summer always feel like a break?), September is always that month where activities begin again and "structure" returns. It's when the more casual rhythm of summer is replaced by the steady drumbeat of fall.

And as much as I love summer, I'm usually very ready for the routine of fall to kick into gear again.

Except . . . Nothing feels quite the same this year.

'Cause we live in a time
When meaning falls in splinters from our lives . . . 

Sure. There will still be some structure. My watercolor class will reconvene next week (via Zoom), for example. But most of the other things I would ordinarily be building into my calendar are . . . well. They are gone. And because we can (with wide-open calendars and the reality that Tom can do his work from anywhere now), we'll be holding the cabin open and the boats in the water a little longer up north this year. Which will further blur the lines between summer-casual and fall-routine for me.

So. September is lacking its usual punchy freshness this year. And that made me a little bit sad last week when I allowed myself to accept how much I was missing that very fresh-start kind of feeling. And that led to a lot of reflecting about . . . Time. Which has really taken on a weirdness for me since the pandemic started. All the days are so similar now. They all seem so . . . alike. Even the weekends don't have much to set them apart from the rest of the week anymore. And, somehow, inexplicably, time seems to be going both really fast and super slow. At the same time.

'Cause we live in a time
When paintings have no color, words don't rhyme. . . 

I got to thinking that . . . maybe I should just give up on thinking about time. Not altogether, of course. Not time as in the clock or the days of the week. I'm not talking about chucking my planner or schedule here and ignoring time altogether. But, well. Maybe it's time I stop thinking about months, chunks of time. . . as discrete. Or meaningful. Time is a circle after all, and it's not like everything changes just because you turn over a new page on the calendar (even though we might like to think it does).

This year, as part of my one-little-word explorations, I've already been paying a lot more attention to the flow of time; trying to tune into rhythms instead of calendar pages. 
I've been marking the moon phases.
Celebrating the seasons.
Embracing Mother Nature.

I'm expanding the ways I'm thinking about time.
The rhythms are there. 
The framework is just different.

And I think it's time I just . . . go with that.
A little bit more; a little more freely.
September? Hello. Goodbye!

Comments

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Carole

Yes. You can do this. Extend that summer feeling as long as it lasts because really, it means freedom.

Patty

And may it be a beautiful September! Warm dock sitting, sleepy dogs sighing, the best campfires of the year. I wish all that for you. xo

Vera

Yes! Being up North in September and October should be wonderful - ENJOY!!! And share pictures, please!

Valerie

It feels like over night the season has started to change.

I did hear your song through your post, but I heard this one also:
https://youtu.be/cZX8u1eCXzo

Time to go pot the new mums on the front porch.

Mary

I'd be happy to send a little 90 degrees/100% humidity your way ... you know, if you REALLY want it to still feel like summer! I have a complicated relationship with September. School starts around here in early August and it doesn't start to feel like Fall until October. Still. I always get excited about turning that page on the calendar and sharpening my (metaphorical) pencils. Here's to a better month.

Bonny

It's the sameness of everyday that's getting to me, especially without the "new year" feeling that I used to look forward to in September. So I'm looking for other new things in September — Encouragement Day on the 12th, Cheeseburger Day on the 18th and National Drink Beer Day on the 28th. :-) I intend to celebrate all of them. Fall Up North should be lovely and I hope you enjoy the Corn Moon tonight.

Sarah

I've had very much the same feeling, maybe magnified by the fact that although my daughter has gone back to school, I'm still working from home and every day feels very much the same. The date or day of the week doesn't seem to matter much. But I have been noticing the change in when the sky starts to lighten every morning and when it starts to darken every night. Something I've drawn comfort from this whole time is that nature carries on, regardless of the chaos we humans are causing.

Kat

The days are so much the same. It wears on one. (and with the "work from anywhere" routine, happy hours have crept boldly out of the weekend. Another thing that blurs the lines of day and time)

Here is to a September that has some shining moments, sunny days, mild nights, and moments where time and the days feel normal! XO

Margene Smith

You have such a profound way of putting this "time" into thoughts and words. I enjoy your posts. I wondered how it got to be September when nothing much is happening, but I have quite enjoyed the quietness of my life. Our little community has come together to make sure everyone has what they need and we chat here and there as we come and go or walk our dogs. I'm loving it (and the garden).

I bemoaned how empty my daily planner was until Mylo ate it and then I realized I still do rely on it and I quite enjoy seeing the two or three things I need to keep track of, so I bought a new one and I'm embellishing the pages now.

Jane

Time is an interesting concept. This pandemic time does feel like a time warp that is upside down. Sometimes the days seem long and sometimes they speed by. Enjoy the north woods. I can't think of a better place to be in the autumn.

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