Part of the Mary Moment Monday series

On September 8, we celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary. Tradition places it on this day because it’s exactly nine months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Here in Ohio, the weather is turning cooler and the school year has started. For the last few years, when I realize it’s the Blessed Mother’s “birthday,” I can’t help but smile at the fact that it’s at one of my favorite times of year.

It just seems to suit her, you know?

We’re canning tomatoes and the grapes will be ready soon. I’m anticipating apples (and more apples and more apples) and the splash of colors that will be spread throughout the trees in a few weeks. Then there’s the cuddling under blankets, the football, the hot chocolate, the fires…

What’s not to love about a September birthday?

There will be a cloak of blue above us, and I’ll think of how Mary is right beside me, wherever I turn.

It can’t be any accident that Mary’s birthday is near Labor Day. Last year, I was reflecting in the midst of backhoes and cookouts, and this year finds me staring at a field of corn that’s turned too early (too wet too early, and not enough rain later on, from what Farmer Bob tells me) and smiling about the 221 bricks that have been put to good use by the same group of “boys” who were playing with power equipment last year (though, when I checked back, they did not in fact do the work on Labor Day, due to some details changing).

Mary was a hard worker, and Labor Day is a day set aside for us to remember just what work is all about (or something like that, anyway), and in Mary we have a fine example of Christian work. I would do well to keep her in front of me as a model as we gear up to celebrate her birthday.

Will you join me by wearing something blue on the 8th and saying an extra Hail Mary in thanksgiving for the gift she is to each of us? I have a feeling that’s the best gift we can give her.

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