The beginning of September brings with it the smell of hope and optimism in the air. Particularly, here, where we live, a block or two from the University of Toronto, a few more blocks from Ryerson University and just down the road from one of Canada's most prestigious make-up schools. So we are surrounded by eager young students and of course, the occasional werewolf, headless creature, or alien - all out on the sidewalk having a smoke. For me, September will always, and I'm almost 60, feel like the beginning of a new year. Fresh books, clean unmarked pages, the distinct smell of new school stuff; all bring heady memories.
Too, it's canning season and Joe and I stopped on the way back from the vacation to pick up 75 pounds of tomatoes from the Holland Marsh farmers market. Joe eagerly put them in the trunk convinced that our 10 jars, 'they take a lot you know' would handle the lot. Um, twenty four jars later, a soup and a huge chili, the tomatoes are gone. I skin and chop each and every one of them. The smell of tomatoes fills the apartment and we fall silent doing the work. It's odd, thinking about the fact that these jars are being canned one day and the world can change the next. Who will we be, what issues will we be facing, what joys and sorrows will pass before these are opened and consumed. I brush those thoughts away, too dark, too dramatic, for such a simple task.
However, with the canning done, we headed out to buy birthday gifts for the girls, they are turning two and five, and they need stuff to open and exclaim at! We're going to Ottawa a week or two after the birthday and will be taking Ruby for her first High Tea at the Chateau Laurier and will be taking Sadie to a cosmic restaurant in a huge playland. It's all planned out, hotel is booked, tea is scheduled. Happy times will ensue. But, first the birthday gifts must be purchased.
We leave the apartment, still fragrant with the smells of cooking, stewing and canning, and hit the street. I notice something, immediately. There are young people everywhere. Did we look that young when we went to University, my head says 'yes' but my heart says 'no' ... these are kids!!! But, the faces of the kids have changed, there is huge diversity amongst the youth. And, in the mix, are several students with disabilities. Flashy wheelchairs, crutches and walkers, a group of students walking and signing excitedly to each other as they walk along. My sign is rusty, but it seems that they are full of what's yet to come.
Sitting skinning tomatoes, I thought about the future.
Moments later, I experienced it.
The world does change. Mostly in ways that's hard to see. But sometimes, gloriously, it changes and is as beautiful as a tree with only green, becomes one of yellow, and red, and orange.
I'm ready for the fall.
I'm ready for the future.