September first isn’t just a plain ol’ first.
It’s the (unofficial) beginning of fall.
It’s the whisper of the beginning of a new Jewish year.
And in Israel where I grew up, it is the absolute first day of a new school year.
That made August thirty-first a singularly wistful day.
Invariably we had to do something special on this last day of summer. Spending the day kicking sand on the beach, going for an ice-cream sundae the size of a mountain, or frantically beginning that art project we meant to do in summer but never did, only to leave it half-done once again.
It was as if we were parting with something we’d never experience again.
When you could count your years on earth on both hands, the prospect of next summer was as distant as the moon. You could see it, but experienced it as something unreachable.
This added melancholy and longing only August the thirty-first possessed. The closest thing to a heartbreak without a defined cause.
So Goodbye August. We never had a choice but to part, so we might as well pretend we do, and welcome September.
©By Shelagh Duffett