La rentree, Labor Day.....

Why don't the English have a word that means time for work in September?

Yes, yes, I know, Labor Day is probably just another reason to send cards and generate income for the card companies now, but the spirit is there; time to tidy away the garden toys, sew on the labels that have lain dormant for 12 months and to collect together all the equipment of your wintertime job. As a teacher, I have never got away from that back-to-school feeling (including the last sleepness night before the first day; if there are any children reading this and panicking over the start of school, please do remember your teacher probably is, too!) and the mad rush to do just one more thing before the servitude descends. I love the smell of a new pencil case, especially if you get a filled case where the sharp plastic smell combines with the sandalwood of pencils and fills your nostrils with that sweetest smell of an unused eraser. I love the first time I write with a new pencil, the first names written on a new exercise book, the way that a newly covered text book still looks pristine and harbours a world of possibility. I was lucky enough to go to a school that insisted on us carrying briefcases so I won't even get started on the alluring scent that is new and hard leather...

And still today I see September as the start of a new year. Yes, I know that calendrically January kicks off the seasons, but mild and misty September is the soul's natural new beginning. A time when the fun of summer is laid aside and we can look at setting targets, sure that almost everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere is settling down as well. We take up our burdens of sociability, the sports activities and clubs that we deserted for the more solitary pleasures of sea or countryside and face a new challenge; I tend to make resolutions now as well as January (yes, I drop them by the second week; I am not heavily burdened with will power) and want to be active in improvements around the house. The decor begins to change, I don't sit down without a bowl of fresh apples on my side table; I try and catch the best hydrangea heads I can for my table centrepiece, pine cones and conkers will soon make their way into my fireplace. If I'm lucky/unlucky some will get planted in the garden and in two years time I'll be looking at a little tree growing in front of my window, thinking I should pull it up but loathe too because, well, it has done so well to germinate at all and I should encourage it since trees are so good.... just not there....

And I begin the path of daily living. In my darkest moments it is my hamster wheel of living, but mostly it just is the path I tred, a little repetitious, a little predictable, but very much appreciated. A steadying influence on my life, a cycle that I can follow, a well-loved path through the wood of life. Will you walk with me, this Autumn, amongst the bronzing trees and feel with me the gentle breeze of love? Keep up with me; I want to push ahead, I don't know where I'm going, but the journey is pleasant and the company's good, and at journeys end there is a warm cup of tea and a toasted teacake, well buttered. Come on, folks, let's celebrate the act of living.

It's good to be back.


  1. I'll walk along with you Jo,we can have a nice cup of 'Yorkshire'tea when we get back.
    I also like Earl Grey but I like milk in it !!!!!!
    Lovely post,
    Best Wishes Kat x

  2. Well, it you've got teacakes...

  3. Labour day in September? Strange, I thought it would be in the 1 May as in the whole world.

  4. Lovely post, yes working in a school I always feel September is the beginning of a new year rather than the dark days of January. I find I'm very positive and motivated in September, time to knuckle down after the lazy days of summer, longer dark evenings at home beckon when I'm far more in the mood to be creative in front of some decent TV again!
    That cup of tea and toastd teacake sounds delicious, I'll join you!
    Gill x

  5. Did you get a Woolies teapot then ?
    Maybe we should have a Blogger convention once a year,all bring some baking or sandwiches and have an en masse picnic in the middle of the British Isles (Where would that be ?????)so that we can all get to it,we should wear T shirts with our names on the back and our Blog name on the front......Wot d'yer fink ?????
    Kat xx

  6. It's good to have you back! Autumn is my favourite season - cool enough to wear boots & woollies, not so cold your fingers freeze, and the promise of a log fire one day soon. Must get the chimney swept!

  7. I also feel that September is the start of the year. Possibly something to do with the fact that my birthday is in September, and also having spent the last 20 years sending my children off to a new school year!
    I like this month, but mourn the passing of the summer months. Now I'll start nesting and getting ready to hibernate!


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