Editorial: Back to school

Stephen Coulter / Hearst

Are there any days that fly by faster than summer days? The only thing that flies by faster than summer days is summer itself. There’s a certain comfort, though, in returning to a routine. Whether you are a student, a parent to a student, or school doesn’t figure into your lifestyle — there’s no denying it. Your average day’s schedule in July and August is different than your average day in September.

Especially in Ridgefield, which resembles an old Western ghost town, complete with tumbleweed, for the month of August.

Churches change schedules, community organizations slow down their activities, and town boards and commissions also maintain a quieter, less frequent meeting schedule.

There is less traffic on the Main Street and Danbury Road, fewer lines at the supermarket, and quieter crowds at restaurants.

So while this time of year is generally called “back to school,” it’s more like “back to routine” for all of us — our lives hit restart, and it feels like a new beginning.

Ridgefield schools also face a new beginning. The district is again in the hands of a “new” leader, with Interim Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote stepping in for Dr. William Collins who resigned earlier this month. Ridgefield’s district tea leaves point toward an unknown future.

September is just around the corner, which is arguably the beginning of the most beautiful time of year in New England. The leaves will begin to change. The weather will transition us slowly into our cold winters.

Those winter days seem to be the antithesis of our summer speed — long dark days that we wish would be over quickly. So many of us count down the days until spring from the first time we get stuck in the snow, or we see our breath in the cold air.

Either way, agonizing over how slowly or quickly time passes doesn’t leave us much time to focus on the present. Of course, the commercials and marketing in stores around us don’t help — we barely have time to adjust before things are moving ahead.

Enjoying the positives of each moment is the best way to battle the rapid passage of time — seeming to be moving through the hourglass more quickly every year. As each of us get older, as our children get older, those moments seem all the more fleeting.

As we watch our kindergartener get on the bus for the first time, let’s take a mental snapshot of the gait of his walk, the proud smile on her face. As we watch our sixth grader tackle the new world of middle school, or our high school freshman put on a brave face despite feeling the same anxiety we feel churning in our stomach, remember the moment.

Ridgefield students return to school a week from Thursday. And as we face the last golden days of summer, let the hovering of routine around the corner leave our minds, and enjoy the moment.

Take a mental snapshot of the moments of respite we enjoy now — and those we find throughout the year.

Live in, and enjoy the moment — for that is the only way to slow the passage of time. Before we know it, another summer will be flying by, and again, we’ll be on the verge of it.

Back to school.