September is my favourite month and the more I think about it the better I like it. Ok, so I didn’t like the first of September when I was going to school and I have to admit that I always missed Mrs Youcantbeserious when she deserted me for school on the first of that month as well; but other than that and over the years I have grown to love the month of September.
It is a benign, friendly month; giving so much of itself and expecting little in return. It is that satisfying time for country people who have the turf in the shed, the hay in the barn and the corn harvested from the fields.
Weeds give up their persistent attempt to take over the planet, the sun is golden and soothing, the breezes are gentle and the universe seems more at peace with itself than at any other time of the year.
Irish summers are not always the best and generally disappoint us with only a few sunny days here and there amongst grey rainy ones. Expectations of the glorious summer weather of June, July and August have been dashed; but then along comes September where we expect little, but are most often rewarded with the prize of a lovely week or two. This is sometimes referred to as an ‘Indian Summer’ – a term which dates back to America of two hundred years ago.
September gives us the most spectacular colour, with the leaves changing their hue on a daily basis. It is as if Mother Nature relaxes her grip and gives us some of the most carefree days of the year. The mornings carry an invigorating ‘nip’ in the air, which the soothing sun will turn into a warm afternoon for old dogs to bask in.
All the work is done for the year and the pace has slowed down. You can almost sense the planet taking a breather. I always think of my late great friend, Colm O’Farrell on these days; a man who was in perfect sync with days like this as we drew bales of straw from the fields and told funny stories.
September was a lucky month for me from the start – because I was born during it, a long time ago, in 1944 – when a pint of beer cost eleven old pence, and a new house fifteen hundred quid. A Virgo, I share my birthday with Bob Dylan – though he is a much older man!
Somebody gave me a birthday card which included my astrological guide: I know you will be delighted to hear that my traits are modesty, cleanliness, passion and tidiness. (The doubters among you may view the original document at my house between nine and five, Monday to Friday).
On the negative side I am fussy, with a strong tendency (allegedly!) to worry and underestimation of my ability: Enough of those ‘fillers’!
I love to see other parent’s children gone back to school, especially when I am in Spain; because with them goes that oppressive Spanish August heat and the never –ending cacophony of noise. It always seems to me that when the kids go back to school and the swallows leave the whole place calms down again: So, let’s hear it again for September.
September is a ‘happening’ month, which the Romans believed belonged to the god, Vulcan – the god of fire. Until Covid came, we In Ireland were blessed with two of the greatest sporting events, the All-Ireland hurling and football finals and those matches, more than anything else, conjure up September memories
In Canada we never wanted September to leave. I have driven the Trans Canada Highway in northern Ontario in September and witnessed the most spectacularly beautiful scenery of anywhere in the world. As the breeze came in across the lakes we savoured the sights, knowing this was the last month where we wouldn’t see snow for six more.
At home now I look out the back window and see apple trees laden with fruit and berries go leor along the hedges. I do not boast a vegetable garden, but anybody worth their salt – like my neighbours, have saved and stored enough vegetables to do the winter. The cattle are grazing contentedly on the last crop of after-grass, as the changing colour of their winter coats starts to show in the evening sun. They look happy too: Guess we all just love September…..