(Maurice) White After Labor Day
Do you remember the 21st night of “September”? That’s not just our favorite Earth, Wind & Fire song, but it’s also the official end of summer. Here are ways to enjoy every last minute of the season — and a playlist of 41 summer grooves to set the mood!
Ladies, this Leo baby is in love with summer, and it’s not just because my twin sister and I recently celebrated another journey around the sun. It just feels right. The long days. The long walks. The mood-boosting light. The music of birdsong and crickets. A summer breeze makes me feel fine. And while there’s no jasmine in my mind, I certainly will be sipping iced jasmine tea on the porch as long as I can. I’ll watch the blue jays alighting from the cherry trees, and enjoy the dahlias and daisies until the days grow cold.
How about you?
One of the highlights of my summer was a date with my husband, Kelvin, who is the sunshine of my life (shout-out to Stevie!!). We saw Earth, Wind & Fire live at our local performing arts center. Orchestra seats. Heavenly beats. Everybody on their feet. Wall-to-wall happy Black people. Love. I danced so much in my orange, fringed-suede date-night stilettos that my legs and feet were sore the next day. And how many times did I scream, “That’s my jaaaaam!” The group did such a lovely remembrance of founder Maurice White, who passed away two years ago.
You know, sometimes we think our kids aren’t paying attention. But our sons always seem to know what my favorite song of the moment is. Maybe it’s from all the miles they log in the Mom Mobile.
And my bad singing. Really bad.
Once, back in elementary school, the teacher asked my youngest what his mom’s favorite song was. With no hesitation, he told her, “ ‘September.’ ” On a day when I visited his class to supervise a craft project, she streamed videos on the smart board, including a performance of that EW&F classic. That’s my jam.
Here's what I don’t get: people who like to push the rites, rituals, routines and retreats that signify the next season into the current one. That’s what the fashionistas call it: “pushing the season.” You wear suede boots with your sundress in July. You break out the faux fur vest in early September. Walk into a store today, and there aren’t just Halloween decorations waiting for you, but Christmas ones!
Why are we in such a rush?
The older I get, the more I want to slow down and savor. It’s a huge challenge for me to live in the moment. But I so want to be there. I have a mindfulness and meditation practice, and that helps me not just to keep calm and carry on, but to enjoy the divine beauty of now.
If you agree with me that the present is a gift, then let’s let those other folks stock up on pumpkin spice coffee and take their coats out of cold storage. We’ve got time.
That’s why I asked Sisters’ beats mixologist Tracy Hopkins, who has covered music for years at places like Rolling Stone and Billboard, to hook us up with a list of tracks to take the season back! If you’ve been enjoying our fitness playlist and our 45 Dope and Danceable Tracks celebrating the 45th anniversary of Hip Hop, then you already know about her #BlackGirlMagic. If you aren’t, you’re seriously missing out. I’ve been killing it on the cardio machines and getting my head in a beautiful, positive space thanks to her Woke Workout. Are you?
So, without further ado, let me wrap this up and let some talented artists spread the “summer’s still here!” message. The incomparable Aretha Franklin, Macy Gray, The Isley Brothers, The Carters, Childish Gambino, Bruno Mars, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, Andra Day, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Janet Jackson and many others’ summer-vibed songs are waiting for you to push play. You won’t think twice about wearing white after Labor Day.
And speaking of white, I think I’ll gather my girls at a rooftop bar for a little pre-equinox white party. We’ll wear the official color of summer, sip fruity drinks and lift up a toast to Maurice White.
Here’s to dancing in September, ladies.
XOXOXO — Claire