September is a new hope, a fresh beginning.
Gentle rain moves in early, cleansing the air of lingering summer
as life settles back to a familiar rhythm.
In the soft breeze before dawn dwells a whisper of promise;
the sun touches the horizon of Rome’s seventh month.
I remember being a child in early September,
a blue zip-up sweatshirt, a yellow pencil with a pink eraser
and the brown wooden desk in a classroom that was much older than me,
gazing out the grey window at the rain.
As we meet once again I am reminded of this little poem. It returns my anxious thoughts to the Septembers of long ago, before I knew the burdens of adulthood. I still experience that whisper of promise each time you come to visit; you continue to bridge the fast-paced summer into the slower more measured Autumn, when all of nature begins to reflect, refresh and prepare to start over again.
This time around you find us in the wake of an astonishing trial. Lives have been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, and things will not be back to normal for weeks.
August, your annual predecessor, will not be dearly missed this time around.
You have returned to find many of us with no home and no assurance as to what comes next. The Gulf Coast is reeling, and will be wading through the aftermath for a long time to come.
But in the eye of this storm comes a reminder of who we really are. We continue to witness that there is still hope and kindness and compassion in the human heart. When July and August came to visit those things seemed all but lost, mere myths of the past in a new society driven by angry words and tense reactions. I hope that while you are here the trend towards that which is good continues to shape our thinking, and that we can restructure our focus before you leave us and once again go your way.
As for me personally, the winds of Harvey have left my house intact, but the summer winds of uncertainty swirl about my home. My family is stronger than ever, though we find the crossroads of work and life moving us to a changing path. Although that transition is not easy, we continue to take each step in faith, as God slowly and faithfully reminds us of His providence, and His details of where this family heads next are revealed. As you walked through my doorway you surely noticed this change is happening, and we will begin to see the good things God has in store as October enters to news of a more certain time. We have grown so much since we last saw you, and we continue to grow.
Storms come in many fashions, and as the storm of Harvey moves out with August and we shift our focus to rebuilding and rethinking, the storms of life will linger. But as we face down these storms, we hold tight to that which we know: God is faithful, kindness and compassion take us further than suspicion and debate, and although we have no control over these future storms, we are in full control of how we choose to weather them.
I still believe in the new hope, the fresh beginning and the whisper of promise you have brought with you time and time again, and am waiting to see how those play out this time around. We are ready to reflect, refresh and prepare to start over again.
Hello September. I’m glad you’re here.