I have always loved September. There is a freshness, and a clarity that comes with its newness. I find that it always feels more like a new year compared to January. It stirs up feelings of nostalgia, preparing for school as a kid, and all of the anticipation that comes with the turning of calendars. Summer is nearing its end, and though that saddens some of you, autumn is on its way. And with it comes crisp, new beginnings.
It’s a time to, as I like to say, “begin again”. It is an invitation to look back on all that took place in this past year. To remember the moments of deep joy, laughter and celebration. And to honour the very real residual ache and pain that is carried into your today. We cannot move into new territories of soul, without honouring and feeling our way through the goodness, and the grief.
The different seasons in the year consistently remind me of beginnings, endings, and the beginning again cycle. In the Celtic tradition, life is not a linear pattern of events, moving us either backwards or forwards. Rather life is cyclical. There is this rhythm of life, death, and rebirth. All things belong to the invisible story and thread of grace that is guiding us to our next beginning.
So, as we wake to more crisp mornings, and rest into the cool of night, may the whisper of God within remind you, that this is the time to begin again. This is dawns kiss to you, welcoming you into the newness that awaits. Receive and live into it, relentlessly.
A poem for your journey:
“As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.
The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.
Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have
The slow, brooding times
When all was awkward
And the wave in the mind
Pierced every sore with salt.
The darkened days that stopped
The confidence of the dawn.
Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.
We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost.
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.”
– John O’ Donohue