Saturday, September 18, 2010

September: A Month of Transition

Among the many mysteries and marvels of life, one stands out in my mind that we seldom give much thought to.  What an amazing mystery and truth we have in the changing of the seasons.  The change is as predictable as anything we encounter in life, yet, every time the seasons change there is something different, something almost mystical about it.  The month of September is a perfect example.

Early September still resembles August.  There is still the heat and humidity with little relief over night.  But as the month progresses, a change, which has in fact been occurring since late June, begins to be very noticeable.  Each day, the sun sets a little earlier than the next.  We don't notice it because of the majestic and ever-present spinning earth slowly but surely moving north to south and south to north on its axis.  However, in early September, there seems to be one day when almost everyone notices just how dark it is getting so much earlier.

Birds seem to be hungrier than before.  At our feeders just outside our living room window, birds flock in higher numbers than in the summer months, gobbling up all the seed they can in apparent preparation for the harsh winter months ahead.  Many who only weeks before sported the bright colors of their breed now begin to molt, their color fading in preparation for the stark landscape that awaits us all.  Humming birds in particular, gather in greater numbers with voracious appetites as they seek as much energy producing they can find just ahead of their great migration to the south.

Skies, once milky white, filled with heat and humidity brought about by the summer climate, now become a deeper blue.  When clouds gather and rain falls, the temperature drops noticeably and the ceilings above us somehow look much lower. 

Our thoughts begin to turn to more indoor activities even though there is plenty of warm weather left to enjoy the great outdoors.  Such events as Halloween and Thanksgiving begin to announce their arrival if only on he fringe of our consciousness.  With the kids back in school and football in full swing, the thought of family get together arises and we begin to recall those rituals that we may have celebrated as a family for years.

September is a month when life slows down a bit from the frenetic pace of the summer months.  Sure, there is a lot to do especially when kids are present and school activities begin, but the month is a time to shift gears.  We begin to prepare ourselves for the long season ahead of chilly days and cold nights.  The reality of the cycle of life begins to renew itself in this month of change and while the colors of autumn have not yet made an appearance in this part of the country, it is but a few weeks before the majesty of fall makes its presence felt.  September ushers this dramatic change in as the deep greens of summer fade.  Cornfield ripen into the gentle golds that stretch from horizon to horizon.  Soy beans late in month ripen into their familiar browns.  When the north wind blows towards the end of the month, we begin to feel its chill for the first time in months.

September.  A month of transition.  God's gentle way for preparing us for the months of darkness and chill that are just as necessary to life as the warm months that come alive with outdoor activities.  This month is a mystical experience that occurs so slowly that we, with our busy lives, barely notice until the changes become so dramatic that we cannot help but see.  Take some time to notice the changes and realize the miracle of the predictability of this time and marvel in how much different this September is from last and how much different next year's September will be from this one.  It is a mystical season!