SEPTEMBER IS a glorious month; who could deny it? But in recent times, something has changed. Google up the word "September" on your computer, and you'll no longer find the words of poets and essayists and editorial writers who have always been inspired by this month and the loveliness it bestows upon us, day and night.
Now it seems the beauties of September are hidden behind the dark veil of the memories of the catastrophic events of 9-11, 2001.
The bright September sunshine may still be present in our skies, but say the word "September," and for many people it evokes a memory of smoke-filled skies, collapsing buildings,and the stark drumbeat of death...
AS FOR ME, I still love September. I always have and always will. September sings its own sweet song to me, and I refuse to let the 9-11 memories obscure it.
September is my favorite month. In fact, that's why I chose September for my wedding day, and then I had good reason to love September even more.
September is fine wine; it is the year matured. Blue and gold and green, it opens up my eyes and elevates my spirits. It contains the autumn equinox, whose changes seem to beg for my attention.
The sunrise of September mornings turns dew-clad spider webs to neon and creates a host of other-worldly morning mists and shadows.
September daytime skies are mostly brilliant, and its sunny afternoons turn fragrant with the ripening apples, wild berries, grapes and grasses. The changing angle of the sun throws golden light onto the forests and lays a mellow hand on fields and lawns and gardens.
September is a time of quickened step, big yellow buses, high-school bands and football games, and roadside stands heaped high with produce.
It's a month when birds and mammals congregate and chatter, and so do school kids. Corn stalks begin to dry and soon will rattle in the fields. Swirling breezes stir up dust-devils, and wildflowers lend nobility to dusty roadsides.
If each day in September sinks a little sooner into darkness, so be it; that's well compensated for by its sunsets, which can be spectacular.
The nights are cool and quieter and soon grow pungent with the dying vegetation. The moonlight is the most benevolent of any of the twelve moons of the year, and it seems to add an extra sheen upon the night-time trees.
And a whiff of distant smoke is all it takes for me to conjure up my autumn nights of childhood, when the signature aroma was the smell of happy campfires and burning leaves.
IF I'VE HAD COMPLAINT about September, it might have been the threat of early frosts to kill the flowers in my gardens. But even that no longer bothers me; it gives me, after all, a seasonal respite from lawn and garden work. As the autumn of my human years advances, that respite is very much appreciated.
Now and then, on one day or another, I admit September weather lets us down. But in the ledgers of my memory, by far, September's assets far outnumber any of its imperfections.
IN MY BELOVED northeast Ohio, I love every season of the year, for different reasons.
But if God would tell me, "Choose your favorite month and that will be your season in the after-life, above all others," I would choose September... Memories of 9-11 notwithstanding.