The days now commence with cool mornings, segue into sunny days, and end with crisp nights. The days become shorter at a rapid pace. Leaves turn red, yellow, gold, with hues in between. Autumn swirls with color. Autumn imbues me with vigor and the promise of endless possibilities. After a rain-drenched spring, after an inferno of a summer, comes the promise of renewed energy in September.
Labor Day used to define the line between the end of carefree summers at the lake and the beginning of the school year. Mama would buy me a spanking new skirt and sweater set, new white and navy saddle shoes. Daddy would shine up my leather satchel that would hold my notebook, pencil-case, and freshly ironed embroidered handkerchief. The Sisters opened the windows in each classroom at St. Magdalena’s to let fragrant autumn breezes gently blow throughout the classroom, and out into the hallway. September possessed a matchless ambiance that welcomed Friday night football with the roar of the crowd, and the school’s marching to rally the rabble at half time. September beckoned by conjuring up its finest colors and its invigorating weather, enticing one and all to breathe deeply into its mystique.
Those moments I swung high into the air on my swing overlooking Grandfather’s orchard as the September sun dappled through the trees remain with me as I give myself over again to the beauty of autumn. The Indian Summer days also meant Swiss chard and mustard greens in minestre fagioli, roasted bell peppers, simmered potatoes with green beans, onions and tomatoes, followed by homemade apple pie, for we ate what was in season, harvested from Daddy’s enormous garden. Even l’heure bleu of early autumn cannot dampen my ardor of the wonders of September.
Ciao for now.