Don’t you love September? I do. When I think of September I think of renewal. Most people think that January is a time of new beginnings, or Easter, but for me it’s always been September. That’s when I would make my back-to-school resolutions… like vowing to read the required AND the optional readings for each course. And, handing in all my assignments AHEAD of time! Of course, by the end of the semester I had barely read the required readings let alone the optional ones and although I was never late, assignments were handed in on-time, not a day before! But I thought, there would always be another September… another chance at being perfect!
I still remember my very first pencil with a pink eraser nib at the end. I was always practical that way. I bet you never saw a prouder 6-year old in your life when I displayed it on my wood school desk. Unfortunately, my proud demeanour changed to one of absolute horror when Sister Jacqueline spotted it and returned from her own desk with a pair of scissors that would make Edward Scissorhands look like an amateur. With one clip, she did away with the eraser nib! In Sister Jacqueline’s world, you didn’t make mistakes. And if you did, you didn’t correct them! If Sister Jacqueline were still teaching today, I suppose she would pry off the Backspace key!
And so here we are after a lacklustre season of faceless summer flankers. Sometimes I wonder why I continue with this blog. Why not go back to photography or take up the piano? But no… I’m the eternal optimist. A psychotherapist I saw back in the 90s said I was the most tenacious of his patients. “Even after you’ve failed time and time again… you keep hammering at it. Your life would be easier if you just knew when to quit!” he said. Maybe those were wise words… I don’t know.
But now it’s the first day of September and I am overwhelmed with the fresh air, the out-of-town students walking around Montreal giddy with new-found freedom and even the odd yellowed leaf here and there. I feel like I’m waking up after summer hibernation. It’s time to set out on yet another perfume adventure.
I close this post with a painting by one of my absolute favourite artists… Claude Lorrain. I first saw this painting back in the 70s during my first overseas trip to London with my brother. It hit me then… and it still hits me now. It represents what September feels like to me… a new adventure, boundless optimism and grandeur.