The start of September, for most of my life, arrived with some kind of fanfare. First of all, my mother always started reciting that old poem about "thirty days hath September..." Her birthday was September 30, 1913, and that was her way of making sure the family marked the occasion. And then, of course, school started once again--when I was a kid, after a seemingly endless summer always bringing the terror that I had surely forgotten everything I'd ever learned before. In later years the summer flew by in a wink--almost like it was sneaking up on me for an ambush. I went back to school in September for fifty-one years and going back to school was what I paid attention to, but now, in retirement, I have noticed the subtle ebb of the seasons.
When I get up, the sky is light but the sun not yet visible. Dew covers everything outside and it's wise to slip on a sweater before going out for the morning paper. The grass is a little browner, the trees a little yellower.
I take my walk in a loop of country roads that make up our neighborhood. The air is scented with the increasingly herbal aroma of cut grass and the wafting of apples ripening along the road ways and in the Riverra's orchard. I notice the yards of neighbors who are avid gardeners.
Autumn perennials are taking up the banner, but colorful annuals bravely march until the first frost makes good on its rumbling threat. This morning I saw kids running through a field carrying buckets--off to pick wild apples or maybe find some berries, looking forward to a fresh baked pie.
In the afternoon, we watch birds darting around the feeders. We have to be careful about wearing a red shirt these days or the hummingbirds will swarm around like bees. A dozen bluebirds, lined up in sentinel formation on the shed roof, swoop down in turns to snatch the crickets in the yard. hurry, get them, I think, before they try to get in the house.
Finally, the pleasantly warmish day is winding down. The sun light's slant has shifted, the sun is setting further to the south. Cool air chases us in the house, no more late suppers on the deck. A thin blanket will feel good tonight.
Somehow, September seems a kinder, gentler month now.