Monday, September 22, 2008

Changes in the Air

by Margy McCarthy

My baby book is a gold-embossed, 60’s vintage, faux leather photo album bound with a silky cord. The mostly black-and-white photos that fill it are adhered to the pages with tiny triangular corner tabs. Among the snapshots on the very first pages are a series of pictures of stark, bare tree branches against a clear autumn sky.

This was my baby’s eye view of the world from my buggy, captured in perpetuity for my memory by my mother as she walked me in the parks of Kansas City in September of 1962.

Today is the first day of fall. It is also the first day of my forty-sixth year of life. I like that these two events have aligned for me this year; I do not remember them falling together this way before and I am greatly heartened by the auspiciousness of their synchronicity. I have always felt a rush of familiarity at the turn in the air from summer’s warmth to the crisp tang of autumn; it was like coming home. I was one of those kids who loved new school supplies, the smell of a new box of crayons, notebooks full of blank pages of promise, and a brand new supply of sharp yellow Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils. I loved the start of a school year- perhaps because a school year, like me, began fresh each September.

It’s my personal New Year’s Day. This year maybe more than any other that means something to me.

It might seem that with AARP looming on the horizon I have begun to “feel my age,” but other than requiring more moisturizer than I have in the past, no longer being a single-digit pants size, and occasionally shrieking at the mirror in the morning when I discover an inch-long chin hair that miraculously sprouted overnight-- (or at least I hope it did! What if it’s been there for a week and I didn’t notice? Yeesh.) I don’t feel any different than I ever did.

It’s the other changes lately that make me appreciate the gift of a clean slate and opportunity to reflect mid-year. Changes like the son who moved out of the house and on with his life. Or like the daughter whose social life and morning toilette no longer require so much assistance and guidance from old Mom. These changes give me new opportunities to explore and learn and continue to evolve into the person I want to be.

Happy first day of autumn to you all.


Eudae-mamia said...

I so agree! I'm also a September baby and I have a September baby (will be 6 on Thursday, sniff) - I love it. September is definitely the new January.

Happy, happy birthday!


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Happy Birthday, Margy! And yes, all those years of being a student and then a teacher makes fall seem like the true new year--nothing like the excitement of that first day of school.

MargyWrites said...

Thanks, Em and Judy.
(Do you REALLY think that's why I teach? heh.)
Happy fall to you both!

Suzanne Macpherson said...

Margy, it is my husband's 55th birthday today. We gave him a wind up heart that beats. We're a little bit crazy on the gag gifts. Also a gym membership and a chocolate cake. hmm. mixed messages.

My third son turned 16 last weds. That's the September bunch.

I am also a fall person. I come alive in the fall!

Love that chin hair. LOL