I’ve always loved September, a much better start to the year than January. As an academic it meant classes full of shiny new students, full of hope and promise. Older students knowing the ropes and worried about their futures. New projects, new possibilities, enthusiasm and delight, despite the best efforts of the bureaucrats and their endless forms.
Now I can no longer hold down that job and September reminds me yet again of all the losses this past year has meant.
So today I joined a local community choir. Turned up and received a delightfully friendly greeting from the old hands. ‘Did you have a good summer?’ they asked one another. I kept my head down – a grim list of my most recent losses would not have been a good start.
The choirmaster and accompanist were excellent and encouraging and we sang a variety of songs. The woman next to me has a very strong voice so I just clung to her coattails and managed to get through the evening without sounding too like a duck (as they say in French when you sing out of tune).
Oh it was good to have a beginning, after so many endings! I walked home, singing all the way.