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Remember September

This is one of three columns that David Dick wrote and submitted prior to his death on July 16. We are printing them posthumously because we felt it would be a disservice to David and to you, his loyal readers who have admired and encouraged him over the past 21 years, not to. Watch for tributes to David Dick beginning in October. Submit yours online at This month’s column begins and ends quoting “Try to Remember,” the song with lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, that opens the musical The Fantasticks.—Paul Wesslund

Try to remember the kind of September
when life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
when grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
when you were a tender and callow fellow…

Well, probably you didn’t think of yourself as being inexperienced or immature. Maybe you even thought that you had all the answers, all the tricks of the trade, but that was part of thinking that you knew it all.

There are no simple answers to life’s challenges.

So, the time comes when you realize you didn’t know it all, you had much to learn, and there were lots of little but important improvements to be made along the way. You gave others a better chance to be their truer selves and grow together toward a richer outcome. The callow fellow includes, of course, men and women with a fair share of generosity and respect.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, as is said, nor did Jericho’s walls tumble down in just a day. The good life requires patience, diligence, and sharpening focus. When remembering our Septembers it is well to give thanks for precious time. This is the lesson to be learned.

Rain is good and we shouldn’t complain about its falling on the meadows of our mind. Without God’s moisture there would be hardly any place for willows to grow and corn to tassel. We cannot stop the rain, nor should we try. The callow fellow knows and practices the art of looking skyward and being a good part of nature. The same should be true for city dwellers as well as those who till the land. Umbrellas may seem vital, but they miss the major point. The same for raincoats and rubber shoes.

We cannot stage rain, snow, wind, even tornadoes or hurricanes. Let a smile be your umbrella so that the sun can promise positive thinking.

So, do not bemoan inexperience. A case should be made for staying in focus, flowing with falling leaves and holding to faith that there is a powerful reason for being.

The reds, yellows, and golden hues of autumn leaves are reminders of many good years to come. Much can be said for dry times when we reach down to deeper roots to search for life-giving moisture. But remember, there is no perfection, but faith will take us bravely into another winter. Without our Septembers we would be much the poorer.

Try to remember when life was so tender
that no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
that dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
that love was an ember about to billow…

We callow fellows give thanks for all the Septembers of our lives. We have been blessed.

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