Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Harbingers of Autumn in Vermont

I love September.

September whooshes into town with her cool demeanor and takes my breath away. She's a persistent dame - she makes each day a little shorter, each garden pumpkin a little bigger, each meal a little heartier, and each night a little colder.

She chuckles her wise, tender chuckle as the beaches slowly empty and parents take their eager children shopping for stiff new school shoes and the perfect pencil-case. She teases with her warm afternoons and thunderstorms, but I know the truth about September: she's gently preparing us for the harsher days of a Vermont winter to come.

This is September's greatest strength. She could give us blistering winds and rapidly falling leaves or icy rain and frozen gardens. But she doesn't. She eases our transition to winter with county fairs and harvest festivals, apple picking and corn mazes, the glorious honks of geese flying south and the cozy smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. She politely but insistently takes us by the hand and leads us to the ghosts and witches of Halloween and to the bounty of Thanksgiving.

September gives us blushing leaves and a delicious breeze.

Here at Camp Wonegan, September has firmly established herself in our lives.

She's been accompanying the children as they head off to school in the morning, reminding them to wear sweatshirts with short sleeves underneath. She's been watching over them as they re-connect with old friends and make new ones, struggle through the first, tough days of homework, and get used to that pesky school-year bedtime that Mom and Dad insist on.

She's urging us to turn off the air conditioners and open the windows and doors. She's filling our house with the scent of awakening woodstoves, late season barbeques, and early falling leaves. She's reminding us to take our allergy pills to keep autumn sniffles and sneezes at bay. She's allowing us to mow the lawn a little less often and she lets us off the hook when we'd rather stay indoors watching TV than play outside.

September is the gracious host of several autumn birthdays. She celebrates with Grandpa, Uncle Kevin, Uncle Mike, Dan and me.

September makes me feel romantic and healthy and optimistic and alive.

She also apparently inspires me to write mushy missives.

But I'm not embarrassed.

I love you, September.

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