On the one hand, fall is finally peeking it's little orange and brown head around the corner, ready to treat us to the three days of weather we all crave before it gets kicked in the balls by old man winter. (If you know nothing of this quick shifting weather I speak of, then you've never been to NC.)
And on the other it's back to school time. Sure it began in August, but September is when the kids hit their stride; making friends, hanging out, doing stuff together and always, always, always touching their noses and eyes and then putting those grubby little hands all over each other! Which, as an emergency room receptionist, makes for the onset of lots and lots of little ones sharing a crap ton of various colds and other viruses.
On my third grubby hand, it's Pagan Pride Day season, which itself is a whole 'nother mixed bag. Fun on one side, loads of work on the other, the whole event is meant to strike a cord of community and belonging within our local pagan family. Does it? I'm sure it does for many, while it only serves to drive a few other deeper into the broom closet out of fear of such extravagant exposure.
On my fourth paw, September is my anniversary month. This year I celebrate 15 years of love with my chubby hubby. Has it been easy? Yes, surprisingly enough it has. We've had our dips and dives like all couples, but unlike the majority of couples I know, our molehills remain molehills while those dreaded mountains encourage a partnership venture of climbing rather than solo attempts.
Then we come to the fifth hand, and an awful memory indeed. I speak of the September 11 attacks. Our generation refers to it much the same as the previous with that single question: where were you when you heard?
I was just settling down to dinner when I got the news. (Remember I work third shift, so your breakfast is my dinner.) My friend Deanna called me from work (she was the receptionist that relieved me that morning) to tell me I needed to turn on the TV. (She knew like so many others do, that I do not watch the news!) I did as she asked, and was floored. Absolutely floored. I remember staying up all day in tears as I watched the events unfold. Everyone reacted differently to it. Our anniversary, 3 days later, was a somber affair. Everything for about a year after that was. Months later I turned to my pen to relieve me of some of the anxiety I carried about. I wrote a poem, Remembering September, and it did make me feel a little better.
Time is of course the greatest healer of all wounds--as well as the greatest festerer. (is that a real word?) I know some people who preach 9/11 like its one of Christ's parables, warning us to never forget lest those evil Muslims kill us all. (not my words, theirs!) Some share their "I was washing dishes/eating cereal/screwing my mistress" stories every year out of the need for catharsis. Others just don't like to talk about it at all. And to put all of this into perspective, so much time has passed that there are kids out there right now who only know of the attack as a textbook event. They will never carry deep inside that black seed of fear and hatred and shock that those of us who watched the events unfold live will always have. And may the Gods bless and keep them so that they never will have a black seed of their very own.
I will leave you on this most sad and unusual of days with the poem I wrote, ten years ago, to help me deal with those tragic happenings. Keep in mind at the time the poignant bits were extra poignant. Now, well, they seem to have lost their luster but for the most part they are still true. At least in my heart.
Later my fellow American taters,
They took from us our knowledge
And learned from us our skill
Then used these things against us
To break our nation’s will
They took from us our fathers
And when the deed was done
They left the crying mothers
Holding on to dying sons
They took from us our innocence
The safety we adored
We lost our sacred landmarks
For the brothers stand no more
The took from us our families
Replaced with empty graves
They took so much but never saw
The things that taking gave
They took from us our apathy
And then removed complacency
They also took the mockery
And gave us back our dignity
They meant to take our passion
And to put us in our place
They took from us inertia
And returned to us our grace