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Monday, September 05, 2016

Cruel September

As I write, the first day of school is just a few hours away. Once I craved this return to routine. When my days didn’t unfold in an orderly fashion I felt unglued and out of sorts. It was harder to focus and accomplish things that would leave me feeling satisfied with my small contribution to the spinning of the planet at the end of the day. I used to welcome fall and the return of schedules with open arms. Now it seems to me, despite what T.S. Eliot had to say about April, that September is the cruelest month.

These days, clocks and calendars seem more like unwanted guests in my home than beloved members of the family. There are a few exterior reasons for my change of heart. The kids who used to spend weekends in my basement are hanging out in post-secondary residences now. The first child I brought into this world is expecting the arrival of his own soon. My daughter, who has been occupying that basement since the younger kids expanded their horizons, is planning to move out on her own. All these events are exciting and evoke a ton of positive thoughts and feelings but also bring on retrospection and a pesistent desire to turn back the hands of time. Yet, simultaneously, retirement skips just a few steps ahead of me and I want to run to catch up. I can’t wait to have the freedom from the demands of a job and kids to plan my days around things that I never have time for. Essentially, I want things that are polar opposites and, for the moment, can have neither.

Then along comes September. Contradictory, deceptive, demanding September. It offers lovely, sunny hours free of humidity while slamming the door shut on the lazy days of summer. In the evenings we’re reaching for sweaters we haven’t even thought of for months but wishing we’d worn shorts in mid-afternoon. The geese are gathering as the leaves begin to turn colour but corn and pumpkins are still growing. On the surface, it looks as though September can’t make up its mind what it wants. It seems to both mock and mimic my own state of mind. Sure, April has its own back and forth dance but spring seems more like a playful child following any given whim. September is more like Grimm’s witch that builds a lovely gingerbread treat just so she can stuff you in her oven. It’s purposefully messing with us. September can be a real jerk.

We can’t force it to be a more decisive month any more than I can change my adult children back to babies or quit my job today. The next best thing, I suppose, is to just roll with it. Tidy up what we can, put a few things on hold and start fresh all at once.

For the OLRA, the annual general meeting tidies up issues that have previously arisen and presents new concerns that need attention. In the area of closure, we heard a report on lake testing conducted by the SSEA during 2015 and closed the effort to have waste collection day changed after we were unable to achieve a majority in favour. Still in progress are an update on septic re-inspection and investigating obstacles to providing a kayak and canoe lock-up at the park. New business focused on plant life both in and out of the water with discussions regarding expanding lake grasses and the recent appearance of phragmites and hogweed in our area. Residents who have already purchased their 2016-17 membership should already have received a full copy of the meeting minutes. If yours didn’t arrive in your inbox, please let us know. For those who would like to review the minutes but are not current members, please see the membership section on the right to purchase your membership online or contact us to use an alternative method of payment.

With the writing of this post, I’ve finished taking care of what I need to do today and I’m heading outside to enjoy a few more hours of freedom. Maybe I’ll stick my tongue out at September while I’m at it.

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