September is my favorite month of the year. While most folks yearn for spring that breaks through the winter doldrums, I long for September. To me, it brings to mind the first crisp days of cooler weather. OK, I know that these few glorious days are sprinkled among the remaining dog days of summer. But still, it gives me hope.
Like the songs about the month: "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire, "September Morn" by Neil Diamond, "It might as Well Rain until September" by Carol King, and "I'll See You in September" by The Happenings, and "September Song" by Frank Sinatra, it is special time.
The leaves of the dogwood tree show a faint blush of red that professes the oncoming change of color. Footsteps crackle on the brown fallen leaves under foot. Rakes are pulled from their summer sheds to sweep up the leaves and pine straw that have started to fall. Golden rod brings a bright color to the edges of the fields. As much as I enjoyed the freedom of the summer break I was happy to get back into the cadence of school. There were the reunions with old friends I hadn't seen in months. Since we always started school in August, by September we were settled into a routine of new classes, text books, and book bags.
Even with the welcome of cooler days, in September it was still warm enough to float down the river. In high school, when classes let out, my friends and I would change clothes, grab our black inner tubes, and coolers and head for the black water of the Edisto. As we floated along with the slow current, solving all the world's problems, the leaves of the cypress trees in the swamp were starting to turn a copper color.
At High Acres, the air was already crisp. There was the fragrance of apples in the orchard. The vistas were starting to show subtle bursts of color as the green faded. The horses were a bit more frisky in the chilly morning air.
From my high school days, it is the memories of football games, stolen kisses, and sweaters. Talk among my friends and me turned to plans for the fall dances - Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, and Cotillion. There was much discussion about possible dates and dresses.
During my college years, September meant we were once again on our own, out of the prying eyes of parents. There were the new roommates in old dorms, new classes with tenured professors, and the freedom of our youth. In Charleston, the onslaught of tourists had faded and it was if we had the town back to our own. Or, at least the (then ) 4 square blocks that made up our campus, bordered by George, St. Phillips, Calhoun, and Coming streets.
And, best of all, the long shadows are there in the afternoon, giving everything a wondrous glow.