Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trying to Remember

Today is the first day of September. I knew it somehow in my heart before I knew it in my head this morning, for I found myself humming these lyrics in the shower as I got ready for work:

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow.

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow, follow, follow, follow.

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow...

I stopped to wonder why I was humming that song, and of course half-singing the words all out of order. I love the song but it's not in my regular rotation of songs to sing obnoxiously off-key around the house. Then I realized it was indeed September 1.

I love the first of every month. New start. Fresh beginning. Clean slate. Fewer strokes of the pen when writing a check. My goodintentionsometer goes through the roof and everything seems much more possible. September 1 is especially good, though. I know that the equinox isn't for another few weeks and that I can still wear my white cotton pants until Monday without scandalizing most of society, and that our city's schools already started last week, but for me September 1st signals the end of summer and the beginning of my favorite season.

This summer has been a particularly hard one, and I'm not sad to see it go. Work has been inordinately stressful and my core belief in what I do was shaken and challenged in unexpected ways. Money's been tight everywhere I turn, the summer's heat wave seemed to go on forever and every time I turn on the news I feel I recognize my world a little less. I think I'm emerging more or less intact now, and there were many good times had as well, but today I'm not sorry to bid this summer adieu.

I'd made a much-delayed trip to the grocery store last night and so when I got up I also remembered I had a fridge-full of new food. Ten minutes later Ben was thrilled beyond words to discover a lovely pot roast buried under a ton of vegetables in a 6-qt. slow cooker. I wasn't cooking much over the summer so this was terribly exciting.

The day turned out to be good in many different ways. Around lunch it started to rain, cooling the day off and completely matching my mood. Then I found a spare wad of cash sequestered away in a pocket of my purse, so I treated myself to a late lunch by myself downtown. I don't know if I can adequately describe how great it was. I started with an almond steamer (frothy steamed almond-flavored milk, perfectly comforting and wonderful in every way) then had a big bowl of the soup of the day, a rich chicken and potato gnocchi soup. It was just exactly what I needed, and perhaps the most flavorful chicken brothed-based soup I've ever tasted. I couldn't finish it but I enjoyed every bit.

Lovely spot for a quiet late-afternoon sit on a rainy September day.

Really Great Soup. I took a picture.

Work was fun today. I started off this job not knowing the first thing in the world about graphic design, but now that's one of the more satisfying hats I get to wear. I like the combination of creativity and structure, the concreteness of the finished product. It's gratifying to make ads and materials that my colleagues appreciate and that I know are an improvement on what we'd used before.

Then when I got home, the house smelled of my childhood. All those Sunday lunches of pot roast Dad had made for the family Saturday night while we slept, all of those were waiting for me. I gave the dog a longer walk, enjoyed the post-rain September neighborhood, then settled in for pot roast and a quiet evening at home. Now I'm sitting here blogging for the first time in more than 15 months and listening to classical music on NPR and Ben's frittering around the house doing Ben things. It's nice.

Thinking back over my day, I knew it was one I wanted to remember. One where life was slow and oh so mellow. I knew it this morning before I even got started, and I knew once I knew that that it was time for a blog post, for myself if for no one else.

It's the first of the month and I'm full of good intentions, but I really would like to start writing here more often. No promises. But for now it feels good and I want to remember that feeling.