Saturday, September 19, 2009

September Song

I will be 58 years old very soon. I checked my expected life span using the data at the Centers for Disease Control (now advertised in this era of swine flu anxiety as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The clever actuaries at CDC say that a white male such as myself is estimated to expire at age 81 on average.

If I translate my expected lifespan to a year of 365 days, I calculate that my present age of 58 translates to the 262nd day. After pulling out a calendar and adding up the days month by month, I found that the 262nd day is today: September 19th.

This correspondence rings true. My present life generally resembles the easy, temperate days of mid-September. My health and spirits are good. The first chills of autumn haven't arrived. But a certain restlessness and intimation of change are in the air. Time is moving faster. Maxwell Anderson's 1938 lyrics to September Song (from the musical comedy Knickerbocker Holiday, music by Kurt Weill) capture this feeling:

"Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got time for the waiting game"

I realize that the lyrics were originally written to portray a middle-aged man courting a much younger woman. Lest my blog readership jump to unwarranted conclusions, I hasten to say that I am not contemplating this particular form of lunacy at present.