For the last week I've awakened to the sight of heavy mist covering up the hills in the distance and drifting down to the rooftops and trees on my street. It is the kind of weather I usually don't see until we're already into September. Whenever it starts showing up at this time of the year, every year, it always carries with it, at least for me, messages about the changing of the seasons and new adventures ahead of me.
When I was a little girl, I would always see the return of the misty mornings as a sign that it was time to go back to school. Summer was officially over even though there were many first and even second weeks of the new school year in September when we had temperatures in the 70's and 80's. I would stick my head outside on one of those magical mornings and take a deep breath, then pull my head in and report to my Mother that it "smelled like it was time to go back to school outside!"
So the other day I opened the window ... I had closed it during the night because the temperature actually went below 60 and into the low 50's ... and took in a deep breath. Ah, yes, there it was! It was that smell I remembered from my childhood. It carried not only the aroma of the pine trees next door drenched in dew, or that smell that only wet grass can produce, but inside my heart the memories of the smells of freshly sharpened pencils and blank, clean notebooks ready for the knowledge that would be written there came back to me as well. The morning mist carried messages of a new journey into learning and the adventures it would take me on. All these years later I am still thrilled by those aromas of childhood and use them to spur me into action. Year after year, I find some project or area of interest and make it my assignment for the school year. It could be anything from compiling a collection of natural remedies, to the lives of some of my favorite writers and poets, to taking up painting. Whatever it is, the need to know comes back to me at this same time every year and I jump at the chance just like a 6 year old with a new backpack filled with supplies and a cool, new lunchbox.
I cannot imagine a world where we cannot challenge ourselves to learn something new regardless of how old we are. A thirst for knowledge and new experiences can hit us whether we're 9 or 90. The important thing is to go out and quench that thirst no matter what. Like the morning mist it should call to us to wake up and breathe in the day with open minds, open hearts, and the thrill of a new adventure.
And so it is.