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26 August 2009

Back to School


We are no longer an agrarian society, yet those rhythms shape us even if we have no connection to a school system. Year-round employees regularly schedule summer vacations and many of those who live near water spend as much time at the water as they can.
The heat of the summer seems to be a reminder that these days are few; that Fall is coming and Winter is not far behind.
Perhaps it is because so many fiscal and governmental calendars begin in July and October that September feels more like a beginning than the end of the year.
For those involved in an educational setting there is so much newness: new faces, new lessons, new books, new clothes, new anxieties, new heartaches.
The Fall is also a time of spiritual reflection and renewal.
The Jewish High Holidays, the ten Days of Awe from Rosh HaShannah to Yom Kippur and the month leading up to them can overlap with the beginning of the school year (more-or-less, depending on the calendar intersection).
The apple has become the symbol of both education and the High Holidays.
Reflection, repentance, confession, renewal.
A fresh start.
As fresh as a child's face on the first day of school, full of the seeds of promise.
May it be a good, and a sweet year.

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