S is for September

“Autumn seemed to arrive early that year. The first of September was as crisp and golden as an apple” Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows JK Rowling.

My daughter returns to school today for the first time in almost six months. The first of September – I’ve just learnt is also the day when readers celebrate Harry Potter going to Hogwarts. We’re big Potter fans in this house so it is quite apt that it’s the same day – this never happens – schools in Leicester are usually back a few days earlier – but everything is a little bit different at the moment. The first of September seems like a good day to start a new term a new beginning.

I’m somewhat apprehensive I must admit, but I couldn’t be more reassured by the measures her school have put in place and I’m pleased to know that some sense of normality is returning for many of us.

I’m typing away very content to be back in my little study that had been recommissioned as my husband’s office as he worked from home and I’m pleased to return our dining table back to its intended use having served us well as study and school room.

I sit at my desk, the house is quiet and I have the solitude I craved for months. I have my cup of coffee, a candle on and classic FM twinkles in the background. It is the perfect time for some reflection. Each season in my own writing and in the workshops I deliver I encourage a seasonal reflection, to think about what we are happy to let go of and what we are grateful for.

In thinking and reflecting – it’s been quite a spring and summer for us all hasn’t it? Probably the worst, most terrifying and concerning that any of us have ever encountered. Our normal lives stripped from us for a time, separate from family and friends and the whole world is crisis and turmoil. We all stayed at home.

Life is slowly returning to what it once was, however lockdown is still somewhat in force here in Leicester. There still can’t be visitors in our homes or gardens, indoor pools and dance schools remain closed and families still separated. There hasn’t been the grand opening of society that I yearning for, it’s all been rather slow and in dribs and drabs. In an effort to encourage normalcy before the return to school, as a family we’ve been for burgers in our local pub, and had a quiet trip to the cinema – normal things we used to do. It hasn’t been as exciting as I thought it might be – it’s all so different, booking ahead, it’s all more subdued and less spontaneous. I know it’s all for our safety but it’s all quieter, underwhelming, different and strange.

I was lucky enough to continue to work from home – transferring all my public facing workshops to delivery via zoom, whilst being able to home school my daughter and dedicate much of my time to her. As I reflect – I am grateful for this time I got to spend with her. Our little family of three were so busy, particularly my daughter – in a whirlwind of after school clubs, guides, dance lessons and music lessons, running, and for us as well as full time work, part time workshops, house chores, house renovation and our own activities any dedicated family time got lost in all of that . I’m so glad we had the opportunity to slow down and spend this time with her before she grew up too much – as normal life returns we’ve all resolved to spend more time together – Sundays on walks and tea at the table instead of in front of the TV (easy done) more board games and taking things a bit slower. This is something I’m taking from all this horrendousness.

September for me has always meant a new term, going back to school (even though I’ve not attended for 25 years!) it has always seemed a good time to start something new. A new season. Here’s to conker collecting, jumper wearing, apple eating, squash roasting, blanket curling up in …. autumn. Here’s to a new start – a new term.