Happy September! Here in Toronto, Canada, we've just come off a sweltering Labour Day long weekend...but even still, whenever the wind blew, there was the faintest of chills in the air. Autumn is coming. The biggest sign of this: all across Canada, Labour Day means back to school.
Mind you, nobody in my household actually attends or works at a school. But I've never lost the sense that September marks a new year, a new beginning. (I celebrate January 1, too. Why not have an opportunity for two fresh starts a year?) Now is the time to step out of vacation mode (or "spend the glorious summer weekends pretending you're on vacation" mode, as the case may be) and move into Getting Stuff Done.
When the World Was Young
by Kit Campbell
In the early days, when the sky was clear and we were still part of nature, there were no mountains and no valleys. The world was flat and unmarked, unscathed by the passage of time. The first people spent their days next to quiet rivers and hunted across verdant plains, and life was peaceful and meaningful.
I know what you are expecting, child. You are expecting a classic creation myth, full of gods and the forces of nature, pulling at the land and mankind until what we know now comes into existence. This is not that sort of story. Oh, I wish it were, but alas, our past cannot be explained away so easily.
In those days, we had few cares. We hunted and scavenged when hungry. We slept when tired. We admired the scenery around us and, at night, watched the streaking of the stars across the sky. In the winter we gathered together for warmth, and in the summer we lay out in the flowers.
Who can say when things began to change? Who can say when exactly it was that they came?
In Tucson, we get the monsoon. That goes something like this.
"Ugh, it's hot. And bright. And--wait, where did that cloud come from? Oh, it's coming this way. Maybe we'll get some--"
And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side. FWOOSH!! from the other two clouds you didn't even know were there.
Okay, it's maybe not that sudden. But if you're walking north, especially if you're listening to your Walkman personal music device, you could totally get blindsided by a storm from the south. Once I was in a house and it was pouring rain on one side--and the sun was shining on the other. You could not even see the clouds from the windows on the west side of the house.
Other times, it's deceptive. The clouds start building around lunch time, and you're keeping an eye out the window, thinking of the glorious storm to come, watching those cumulonimbus climb higher and higher...and then nothing. One spectacular sunset, but no rain, and by ten the entire clear sky is staring down at you going "gotcha."
But as soon as you decide that if you see it coming, it's not actually coming--then it really gets you.