Okay, raise your hand if you’ve already said – or if someone has said to you – “September?! I can’t believe it’s September already!”

Full disclosure: My hand is raised, too.

The older we get, the more quickly time seems to fly. Still, there’s something about the month of September that really drives this home. I don’t know if it’s because school starting up again is such a stark milestone – even if we don’t have school-age children anymore, and even if school now starts in August rather than right after Labor Day, as it did when many of us were growing up.

Or maybe it’s because the seasonal change from summer to autumn is a more noticeable transition than any other. Also, I suspect there may be an algorithm or mathematical equation somewhere that, on September 1 every year, starts the countdown to Thanksgiving and Christmas – which is another stretch of the calendar that always goes by in a blur.

Then there’s football season. It starts at this time of year, but whether it flies by or drags on interminably depends on whether you’re talking to my husband or me. Still, that just emphasizes all the more that time can seem not only to speed up, but to slow down, depending on – well, lots of things. I love the logic that states the actual amount of time in a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on. Another philosophical observation on the subject, also related to the bathroom, states that time can feel like a roll of toilet paper: it unrolls faster and faster the closer you get to the end.

I prefer not to think about it like that. I’d rather keep reminding myself that how I spend my time is more important and relevant than lamenting over how quickly – or slowly – it seems to be going. As the poet Maya Angelou said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Abraham Lincoln had a similar thought when he said, “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

So I plan to enjoy September for all it’s worth. The gorgeous scenery as the leaves start to change color. The bountiful end-of-summer harvest, and the smell of apples and pumpkins. The cooler, comfortable weather – if it ever gets here this year. Soups, stews, and the hot buttered rum that tastes so warm and welcoming only at this time of year.

And when it’s time to flip the calendar page over to October, I won’t be saying, “What? October already?!” Instead, I’ll smile as I wave goodbye to September and all its wonderful memories. And if I say anything at all, it will be, “So long, September. I’ll see you next year. Don’t be late.”

September 3, 2023
©Betty Liedtke, 2023

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