…(That) old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
— Wallace Stegner
Even if we’d never laid eyes on a calendar, we would know when September approaches. Among our youthful patrons, wan looks, sighs, a sullen countenance or two and a rush on the academic reading list book displays that we’ve had up since June all herald the start of another school year.
Talk of theme parks, swimming and other summer pursuits give way to topics of classes, extracurriculars, friends and new clothes, either procured or wished for.
Don’t we all remember the mingled dread and anticipation of this time? Students of all ages, take heart: Each year you grow and learn, you are a newer version of yourself, and you have it within you to be better, smarter, and that much closer to your life’s purpose and the things you dream of doing one day. All the best to you.
Driving back and forth on the route to Milton, I’ve been admiring the landscape: raw bright green fading into gold again; hay bales twine-bound and drying. Judging by the floral deliveries, catering trucks and event traffic barriers, Boyden Farm in Cambridge has a wedding booked nearly every weekend.
At first glance, fall seems a counterintuitive season in which to tie the knot — and yes, the honking overhead flights of southbound geese and the flutter-down of crisping leaves tell us that it is indeed upon us. The gradual erosion of light and warmth, as days shorten and the wind holds a hint of the frigid blasts to come, don’t speak of romance and optimism with the easy, sunny promise of June. (Deep sigh.)
But ahead of us there are harvests, and firelight, and our flaming patchwork of autumn-toned hills folded one behind the other to the horizon. There are fall sports and festivities, and plenty of good outdoor weather to savor as our sandals reluctantly hibernate in the backs of closets and out come the light jackets.
We greet people we’ve barely seen all summer, stubbornly barbecue until the snow flies, begin to think of guest lists for those gathering-at-table occasions approaching later in the year. In all of these ways, we remind ourselves that to everything there is a season, and that we’re not alone.
It was in September 50 years ago that my parents were pictured in The Burlington Free Press, seated atop hay bales in a horse-drawn cart, in all their empire-waist peasant-style satin-gowned and wide-lapeled, frilled-shirtfronted, Beatles-trousered finery, the bouffanted and sideburned wedding party grinning youthfully at their Grand Isle nuptials.
As I drive past Boyden’s lately, I’m reminded of those photos in fleeting glimpses of embraces and hopeful poses of couples beaming for photographers in back fields still sun-warmed but with a scattering of dropped leaves, the cooler winds carrying a hint of ripened fruit and wood smoke. Perhaps fall is the perfect time to celebrate union.
Another reason to celebrate is the completion of a successful Summer Reading Program at your library. Thanks to all of you who participated, we held over 20 events for children, teens and families, and 18 for adults, with 52 registrants for reading logs and 523 overall event attendees of all ages.
Our adults enjoyed a summer “book undiscussion” in which 43 of you added Big Universal Takeaway stars to our display board in exchange for Star Bucks, prizes and entries into the Big Bang Grand Prize Drawing, which was held last week. Congratulations to our winner, L.B., who took home a picnic hamper full of space-themed swag and gift certificates to Thompson’s and The Bijou. See? Reading really pays off!
Coming up, get ready to fill a paper bag with good reads from our Book Sale Room for a mere $5 all during the month of September.
For those of you with young children, our Preschool Story Times continue each Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., with September’s remaining themes of Hats (this is Fall Hat Month); Squirrels (it is not Squirrel Month, so please don’t bring a real one into the library); and Fall Fun.
Baby and Toddler Story Time, complete with books, songs, rhymes, bounces and more, will be featured on Thursdays, Sept. 12 and 26, also at 10:30 a.m.
Friday, Sept. 13, at 3 p.m. is the Roald Dahl Day Book Buffet, so, students ages 8-10, come celebrate the author’s birthday, sample some scrumdiddlyumptious food and feast your eyes on all the great titles. If you like, bring a book to recommend.
If you are interested in an active role in your library, join the Teen Advisory Board, which meets next on Sept. 18.
The Star Trek Party scheduled for this summer is rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 3 p.m. Join us, costumed or not, for a themed extravaganza featuring trivia, refreshments, prizes and more. Talk with Rachel to find out more.
Adults, if you’ve read something wonderful and want to share, or something awful and want to vent, or if you just enjoy gathering to talk books with like-minded people and an hors d’oeuvre feast, please meet us upstairs at the library for BYO Books, which meets next on Monday, Sept. 16, 6 p.m.
Later on this month and into October, we hope you’ll mark your calendars and visit the Friends of the Library tent at Rocktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The following weekend, come to the library for an evening of music with Rick Norcross on Saturday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m. Stay tuned for future author nights and other happenings.
Thank you all for a wonderfully busy, starry summer. We enjoyed sharing it with you. Please keep coming to Morristown Centennial Library throughout the seasons.
Finally, to my parents, happy 50th anniversary. May the years to come be blessed.
Gizelle Guyette is director of Morristown Centennial Library.