Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember how the stars stole the night away
Ba de ya – say do you remember
Ba de ya – dancing in September
Ba de ya – never was a cloudy day…
[“September” by Earth, Wind & Fire]
And just like that, with a few rain showers, we said farewell to summer.
It seemed like one day we were wearing shorts and flip-flops, rushing indoors to an air-conditioned space to cool off. Then the next day, we grabbed our jackets and expected trees to change color any day.
I wasn’t ready for summer to be over, honestly. I was enjoying the warm breeze on my face and extended daylight into eight or nine p.m. I knew fall would come sooner or later, but I didn’t know it would arrive so unannounced. Wasn’t it just yesterday when we were making plans for a bbq at the park? Weren’t we just wiping the sweat off our faces as we waited underground in that stuffy subway station? Didn’t the kids just break from school for the summer? I don’t know. Where was I? What did I do? How did September sneak up on us like this?
Lately I’ve been looking in the mirror and noticing a different face. I guess it’s not just the quick passing of summer that has surprised me. Somewhere between yesterday and today, age set in. I’m not necessarily talking about a wrinkle here and there on my forehead or a gray hair or two. I can deal with that. But lately when I look in the mirror, I see a pair of old, tired eyes. The kind that has seen much and yet, knows there is much more to see. I suppose I’m talking about brokenness. I suppose I’m talking about pain. Loneliness. Rejection. In the world. In my self.
There’s been a lot to celebrate this summer of 2009 – the beginning of new lives, in the way of marriages and births. There’s also been much to grieve and ponder over, as we faced deaths of loved ones and became aware of tragedies occurring around the world… and sometimes in our own neighborhoods. I watched a community of people who joined together for one cause and the result was nothing short of a miracle. I saw in my own life, friendships that used to come so naturally became much harder to maintain. I became much more honest, and that made things easier in some instances and much more difficult in others. Dreams were realized. Other hopes were dashed. I saw love coming. Then I saw it leaving. And again, I saw it dancing around the bushes.
And now my eyes are old and tired.
I suppose that’s how life goes.
I never knew those were the lyrics to September. Now that I’m reading it, it’s just another cheesy love song. But it’s still fun to dance to anyways.