Long before September 11th commemorations, September has evoked a host of memories. Fall foliage marks the passage of time and the omnipresent ads for pencils and lunchboxes remind us of our best and worst experiences of our early learning.

A “do-over” opportunity for students and teachers. the new school year provides a model for continuing conversion. Remember how an early science class changed everything you knew about the sun and moon. Teachers retiring unsuccessful strategies that had seemed brilliant in the planning stages.

Those early school memories can provide us with a way to navigate the political divisiveness that seems to touch every aspect of our private and community lives. For example, a novel coronavirus, as we first labeled COVID-19, is, by definition, something new, so safety and treatment protocols changed as scientists learned more about the virus and as virus variants developed. Before voting, we might review a politician’s lived experience and statements before labeling a changed stance as flip-flopping. Humble, faithful and wise, Mary remains model and companion in our changing lives.