I can hear Jerry Orbach singing in the background: “Try to remember.. the kind of September / when life was slow and oh so mellow…”
Thirty days hath September, and the 30th one is upon us. It’s that last day where I can pretend, even for a moment, that summer has not ended. Despite cold and rainy days like we had earlier in the week, September still holds the promise of the last of summer. Hey, we had days in the 90s — that felt like summer! But October? There’s no escaping the reality of the change of seasons, the dying off of summer flowers, the last of the garden produce, and sunset coming earlier every night. It is a little sad, this 30th day.
“Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short,
but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat,
we say we have had our day.”
– John Donne, 1620
And in my current work-in-progress, I have to say good-bye to a favorite character. She means a lot to me. But she has to go. It’s time to let her go. To be honest, she probably really wants to go, is past ready for me to bid her farewell and wish her good journeys. I knew at the outset that she wouldn’t make the full journey with us to the end of the work. Her absence is central to the story. But it doesn’t make it any easier to accomplish. Or hurt any less. Part of the reason is that she bears a remarkable resemblance to my mother; they could have been sisters. And even though it’s only a voice in my head, it’s been nice to have her back for a bit, hanging around, pushing me forward, offering advice. One of my mother’s favorite sayings, especially when her children were having trouble with friends, was that we should “kill them with kindness.” As a kid, I struggled with that. Heck, as an adult, I struggle even more sometimes, but mostly with my own patience (or lack thereof). So that is my goal – to let her go as kindly as possible. Not to struggle to keep her where she should no longer be. Kind of like what happened in reality. But it won’t be today, or even this weekend. I want to spend my birthday with her one more time. So maybe next week, or the week after. But I know it’s coming. Soon. And it’s a little sad.
“Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
– Carl Sandburg, Under the Harvest Moon
Enjoy the final day of September, and, try to remember, a little kindness goes a long, long way.
Catch you later,