“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air.”
Walter Stegner, Angle of Repose
“School Supplies” — I passed a small sign in a local stationery store with these two words emblazoned on it. Underneath them were listed all manner of tools a student might need for the year: notebooks, pencils, pens, index cards, calendars. And arrayed around the sign were purple and blue notebooks, cheerful calendars, pink-and-green backpacks.
“School supplies” — when I saw those two words, what a rush they gave me! What a flood of feelings: I was almost back in school myself, picking out my notebooks, sharpening my pencils, catching a whiff of cedar as the shavings spiraled to the ground and a sharp point emerged. Who knows what magic was going to pour from that little yellow magic wand!
While I didn’t always enjoy school, I did cherish the tools of what would become my trade even back then — notebooks, pens, pencils, the silky feel of the paper beneath my palm, the blue lines marching smartly across the pristine pages and patiently — oh, so patiently!– waiting for me to fill them, ready, willing, and able to marshal whatever words poured out of me into order, however unruly they might be.
I have a card near my desk in which I’ve listed the twelve months of the year. On it, I’ve written inspirational phrases I found somewhere next to each of the months. September’s phrase is this: “Go deep into the heart of things, the mystery.”
As the rhythm of the world outside quickens, as the rush and tumble of daily life gathers energy and speed, let’s pause to find our own inner rhythm and to listen quietly to the slow, steady rhythm of time itself. Then let’s “Go deep into the heart of things, the mystery” — and come back and tell the story of what we’ve found. Write on!