Readying for the Third Third

Back to School

The last week before Labor Day has always felt like coming in for a landing. Descending from the clouds as a new city slowly comes into focus, the spires of its skyline going from fuzzy needles to distinct shapes and colors.

Over the past few years I have gone from looking at the year as being broken into quarters and being more about thirds.  The beginning and ending third seem to be about action implementation and being on stage while the middle one is about preparing, contemplating, assessing the two other thirds.  Since San Francisco’s summers are mercifully cool, the middle third is not as brutal and depressing as it is in most parts of the country.  You can actually be outside and enjoy it.

This weekend the city seemed to be on edge in that way is typical for the week before Labor Day.  Longer lines in stores, more tailgating and honking traffic, either all the annoying people having returned from the summer or anxious to head out of town for one last long weekend.

I can already feel the changing rhythms that herald the arrival of September.  The sunrise keeps coming later which I like.  The 20-25 minutes I allow myself to write in long hand each morning is most meaningful if it starts with darkness outside the window and ends with dim light creeping in.  I can see the shifting of Audrey and Shaka’s coats as the shedding is in high gear.  My own rhythm is changing from planning to implementing.  As if I have until the Tuesday after Labor Day to memorize all of my lines and finalize the blocking of my role in the last third of the year.

I am still trying to figure out what this year’s last third will look like, like the old routine of back-to-school when I wondered what my school satchel  would look like once June rolled around.  The details change through the years but many of the rhythms just keep repeating.


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