A colleague of mine recently expressed sincere astonishment that we are now in the month of September. “It’s September?” she asked, almost doubting the calendar that was right before her eyes.
I have to admit, I hesitated.
On a certain, purely academic, level I knew that August was drawing to a close. My public school upbringing provided me with enough of a background to know the months of the year but, at my co-worker’s exclamation, I realized that I had lost track of the season.
It’s one thing to lose track of time, to allow a 30-minute lunch break to become an hour, but to look up and suddenly realize that another year is about to draw to a close is something else altogether.
“Wasn’t it just June?” I responded, for so it seemed.
I remember talking to my eldest daughter about how June was essentially the mid-point of the year. I remember her wide-eyed wonder at the thought that another year was already half over.
“But the year just started!” she lamented.
Thus was my firstborn child introduced to the transience of the seasons.
My life has spanned only the last three decades, so I am hardly an authority on the experience of aging. However, I have tasted enough life to know just how quickly the days blend into months, the months into years, and the years into a lifetime.
At my relatively young age, I have already lost most of my elder relatives and seen my parents advance into the first dawning rays of their twilight years. I have buried friends and peers whose young lives were untimely cut short, whether on the field of battle or through personal tragedy. I watch my own four children continue to grow before my very eyes, from squalling infants into burgeoning adolescence.
In the Psalms, Ethan the Ezrahite wrote: “Remember how short my time is, for what vanity You have created all the children of man! What man can live and never see death?”
As the greenery of Summer fades into the reds and golds of Autumn, our small fragment of this hurtling terrestrial sphere will begin a long season and digression into stillness.
Indeed it seems that, even in the time it has taken me to write these words, still more time has passed. For even as September has already come, so too is it soon to be gone.