Back to school

So, we’ve arrived at September – already two thirds of the year has passed! For me, September always feels like a month of transition and change, a time of endings and beginnings, a new phase in the year. I think there are a number of reasons for this.

September is, of course, the month when schools open again after the long six week holiday. For families with children this is a time of excitement, nervousness, perhaps even fear of the unknown as preparations are made to return to school, or to begin new schools, college or university courses. It can also be a great relief to get back to the old routine as boredom is replaced with activity and busy-ness once again.

The new term also signals that the Summer months are coming to an end as the days get slightly cooler and shorter and the nights begin to draw in. Not a nice prospect perhaps as most people enjoy the warmth and beauty of Summer, although September can often be a fair and pleasant month – winter is not setting in just yet!

The gradual changing of the season leads naturally into thinking about harvest as nature gives up her produce and the gifts of the earth are gathered in. It is wonderful to see fields full of wheat, barley, corn and other crops waiting to be reaped and the old apple tree in our back garden is already laden with fruit (all too small to be of much use I’m afraid). I can see myself clearing up the windfalls well into the Autumn! We’ll celebrate Harvest at Horeb over the first weekend in October.

Having had a few weeks off over the Summer, coming back to church in September also has a ‘starting again’ feel to it for me. In reality I suspect nothing much will have changed, but even so, it is good to have the opportunity to see things anew and begin the new ‘season’ feeling refreshed. I have no doubt that there will be fresh challenges as well as new opportunities lying in wait as we turn the corner of the year and share once again in the joys and sorrows of church and community life.