Monday, August 10, 2009

The New Year

As someone who has spent a pretty hefty portion of my adult life in school, finishing my bachelor's degree then graduate school, then married to an academic, plus having a kid in elementary school, I am keenly attuned to the start of the school year. In fact, late August feels like the beginning of a new year to me. January 1st just feels like the end of the holidays.

This time of year is fraught with change and transition. You can smell it in the air. As a child, it meant new clothes, often a new school and a chance to reinvent myself. In college, it was an escape from my childhood home into the place where I really learned who I was and what mattered most to me. For years, autumn meant the return of someone I loved, someone who would drift away in the late spring and summer and returning to me when the Fall semester breezes began to blow.

My sister and I have commented on this for years, how we both begin to feel a shift, a kind of restlessness in August. It makes me a little anxious and also a little excited about what might lie ahead. It feels like something new is just around the corner, something more substantial than new school clothes and an armload of binders.

I cannot blame it on the weather. August is miserably hot here in South Texas, and we still have a lot of heat ahead of us before things begin to cool off. No matter what the temperature, I still feel the season's change, in my bones, in my heart and head as surely as if there were maples turning crimson in the backyard.

I like the anticipation, leaning hard into what's ahead, even if I don't know what that is.


  1. This is my new year, as well--and I love it.

  2. "A change is gonna come ..."

    I just love autumn. I think that each season feels like a new beginning to me, but fall is my favorite, by far! Time for cello music and brown bag lunches and a big pot of soup on the stove. Who cares if it's still August? Rush the season, I say!!

  3. I've been thinking about this and perhaps it is genetic? Could we be hard-wired to notice the subtle changes in the seasons?

  4. I think that it comes from growing up in Texas where the seasons are less defined. Then we moved to Maine and experienced the majesty of wild season changes right at the time in our lives where we were experiencing exciting change.
    I still ache for that first Maine morning with the frost and the chill and the bright yellow and red leaves. There is such power in that morning.

  5. I wish we had more definitive seasons in Texas. It's either extremely hot or slightly less hot. I'm always glad when August is over.