It's September. Things always happen in September. The real New Year is now, when the weather is uncertain and the holiday is over. Lives grow across the winter while the crops have their sleep, and lives rest in the summer while the plants race. The old academic year of northern Europe is built as much around the fact that children were available to study in the winter time when the land was quiet as it is around the religious calendar. At school it always felt as though a labour in the dark and the cold would reach its full growth when the sun shone again. I work best now - a rush of energy from here to Christmas and then Christmas to Easter, and then a final push to put the gloss on the fruit before the laze of the summer. A rhythm as old as myself and much older.
So it's good to be starting a new job now. Great, in fact. The first-day-of-school feeling is the same as it ever was - nervous excitement combined with a desire to apply oneself. A summer over and term begun. This position is a totally new world for me, alien in the extreme. It's so different from anything else I have done or could be doing. I have responsibility. Things I do will make a real difference to society if not individuals. That feeling goes through the place - it's not a job you do unless you care a bit. It makes the atmosphere wonderful.
It's not a time to peep, though peeping is all you can do to begin with. Everything is changing. [Everything is always changing. Maybe one should never peep?] I am applying last year's lessons, about openness and optimism and smiling at strangers. This year's curriculum is about purpose and collaboration and maybe ambition. Bring it on.