It's the first Tuesday in September, and village children are off to their first day at school today, walked all the way there (or just to the bus stop) by proud parents and family pets. The kids wear jackets in confetti colors, carry backpacks and lunch boxes in pink, turquoise and lime green, tote pint-sized umbrellas patterned in flowers or bunnies or polka dots. They bloom like peonies in the street, and watching from the windows, I do a little blooming too.
Only a short distance away, other brightly arrayed children have hatched out in village hedgerows, and they are strengthening their wings for the long journey south to begin in a week or so—every single Monarch butterfly is a stained glass jewel, a wild, vivid and breathtaking wonder. There are vibrant hues everywhere I look in September, and they make me feel like dancing.