The Labor Day weekend just sailed by and I wake up to find myself well into September, the kids back at school and our late summer drought broken by heavy rains. I'm glad to see the rain for the sake of our parched pastures, but now regret the chores I've put off which will be that much harder in a muddy barnyard.
The beginning of September has seemed like the beginning of the new year ever since I started school circa 1960, much more so than any short, cold day in January. The old Roman/Byzantine Empire started the New Year on September 1st, and the Eastern Orthodox Churches still use that date to measure the start of the Ecclesiastical year. There is no special celebration that I am aware of, but it is customary for Hierarchs to note the date with a message to the flock. Here is meditation on time and new beginnings from Metropolitan Herman of the Orthodox Church in America. Since we spin around the Sun in a sort of ellipse, Nature does not provide any absolute beginning for the year. Even the seasons vary depending on your hemisphere. The carousel keeps moving so fixing any one "start" will always be arbitrary. It can't hurt though to have as many opportunities for a new beginning as possible. So, for those of you who could use an excuse for a new start, a re-start, or just a chance to take stock and try again, Happy New Year!