And so it is September.
For me, this month is always a bit odd. It’s technically still summer for another three weeks, but after this weekend, most of use will be out of our more relaxed summer mindset, even if we aren’t going back to school, or sending children there.
Here in Texas, the weather in September generally remains at full-on summer temperature at least through the middle of the month, which makes the autumn season seem to take forever to arrive, and makes it seem too short when it actually does, and yet, even though we haven’t yet arrived at the changing of official seasons, even though we’re still seeing temperatures peaking around the 100 mark during the day, there are hints of fall in the air.
The leaves are not as vivid a green as they were even a week ago, and there’s a hint of bite under those hot temperatures. That bite is so subtle that you can’t feel it unless you’re actively seeking it out, but it’s there, underneath your top layers of consciousness. 100 degrees in September feels ever so slightly cooler than 100 degrees in August.
And then there’s the light. As early as my birthday (August 17) I start noticing that the summer light is waning. I don’t mean the time of sunset – we all know the days are slowly shrinking as we approach the autumnal equinox – I mean the actual daylight. Somehow, once we’ve passed the mid-point of August, and all the more when we flip the calendar page to September, daylight seems a fraction less bright, the angle of the sun having changed just a bit.
September days, then, are warmed by thin sunlight, colored by fading leaves, and occupy a space that isn’t quite summer, but isn’t exactly autumn, either.
“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
~ Helen Hunt Jackson