Summer Into Fall — La Rentrée

Herb Gardens 2016 wall calendar

Image from our Herb Gardens 2016 wall calendar. Fresh herbs hung up to dry © Giovanna – Joana Kruse / Corbis. Click image to see more.

Recently I learned of a holiday known in France as La Rentrée. It’s an acknowledgement of the re-entry back into routine or ordinary life after the looser, more improvised time of summer. Teachers and students recognize this moment when school begins again, but I believe all of us feel this as the autumn makes its presence known. The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) usually occurs in September, as does the new year in the French Revolutionary Calendar (on Autumn Equinox).

At least in Seattle, where I live, there is a sort of relief that comes as the clouds come back and the rain begins to fall and I am no longer tempted outside by picnics and festivals, sunshine and Shakespeare in the Park.

The squirrels in my neighborhood are busy stashing nuts. And I feel the same urge: to get my dwelling in order, to get my files organized, to be able to hunker down for the winter with my books and projects. Office supply stores capitalize on this impulse by promoting back-to-school items. Publishers announce their fall lineup of books; libraries also experience a surge in checkouts. In France, this is prime time for rummage sales as everyone gets rid of items they no longer need.

Do you feel this opportunity for a new beginning in September? And if so, how do you acknowledge it? Leave a comment below.

Waverly FitzgeraldWaverly Fitzgerald is a writer, teacher, and calendar priestess who has studied the lore of holidays and the secrets of time for decades. She shares her research and her thoughts on her Living in Season website and in her book, Slow Time. She is currently working on a series of essays about looking for nature in the city and blogs for the Seattle PI as the “Urban Naturalist.”



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Herb Gardens 2016 wall calendar

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We plant trees — over half a million and growing! Amber Lotus Publishing is proud to be a carbon-negative independent publisher with a dedication to environmental stewardship. Based in Portland, Oregon, Amber Lotus works with an extraordinary collection of artists and authors such as Alex Grey, Chris Burkard, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, Louise Hay, Katie Daisy, Kinuko Y. Craft, Ram Dass, and more! We create calendars and greeting cards that illuminate the sacred dimensions of everyday life — mindfulness, healthy lifestyles, and earth awareness. We strive to consistently offer products that are authentic and distinctive to bring you a sense of the eternal by nurturing your heart, renewing your soul, and expanding your mind.

One thought on “Summer Into Fall — La Rentrée

  1. elynmac

    Thank you for this post – it is always interesting to see how other cultures think about various holidays. You write so beautifully – thank you!


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