This morning dawned overcast and cool. The early mornings and late evenings have already started their journey towards autumn here. Of course we’ll still get some heat and humidity well into September as summer makes a last stand before turning over the baton to the next season, but I’ve arrived at the point in the summer when I am done with it all. I want to wake up to crisp, clear air, throw on a sweatshirt and go outside. I want to see the corn waving in the wind, waiting to be harvested. I want to smell that very special smell that only comes in September … I want it to smell like the first day of school.
When I was a little girl, I can remember going outside in the mornings in late August and telling my mom, “It smells like school in the air.” I always loved school. I got a distinct feeling of excitement buying school supplies, inhaling the aroma of freshly sharpened pencils, and gazing longingly at the clean, blank pages of my notebooks just waiting for wisdom and knowledge to fill in the lines. I still feel that way today. Every year when parents are filling their shopping carts with school supplies, I join in. I get myself a stack of brand new spiral notebooks, a pack of No. 2 pencils, a new highlighter, and some new pens. I take an especially long time buying my pens. I want to see how it will feel in my hand. I want to be assured that it will glide across the pages as the inspiration pours out of me (hopefully!).
I am a life-long learner, something I talk about in my new book: Second Chances: Lessons In Wisdom From A Life Well Lived,” (available through Amazon). Every year after I have my “school supplies” purchased and neatly put away in my desk, I ask myself if there has been any subject or idea that I have come across recently that has ignited a desire in me to know more about it? One year it was quantum physics. Another year it was advanced container gardening. This year I am fascinated with the whole subject of developing permaculture – the development of agricultural ecosystems designed to be sustainable and self-sufficient without the use of pesticides, chemicals or anything that harms the earth. I figure if I start studying now, I’ll have a handle on it by next spring when, hopefully, I’ll be able to put what I’ve learned into practice.
You all know that I am a vegan. It seems natural that a desire to learn about responsible, natural and sustainable food production would follow. I no longer want my footprint upon dear Mother Earth to be harsh and heavy. I want my presence here to kiss the earth gently, and to teach my grandchildren to do the same. So I guess it’s time to crack open a notebook, sharpen a pencil and put Google Search to work.
Mom, it smells like school out there.
And so it is.