September may be the start of back-to-school season, but in many ways, it always feels to me like the last month of summer.
Where I live, September is usually quite warm. There are always some cooler mornings, and there’s more dryness in the air, but basically, it’s still a month of light layers and bare arms.
At the farmer’s market, there are apples and winter squash. But there are still stone fruits, tomatoes, and eggplants till the first week of October, and sometimes a little beyond that.
The liminal quality of springtime, particularly April and May, has always unsettled me. Unlike many people, I greet that season with uneasiness and sometimes even dread.
It’s not like that with September. I love both summer and fall, and I love this temperate moment between them.
This month of transition has always felt achingly sweet. If it makes me suffer at all, it’s in my desire to hang onto it and make it last for as long as I can.
In the past two years, September was particularly vivid and joyous.
The end of summer 2020 was a season of renewal. The world was getting a little better, a little more hopeful, and I was just coming back to life myself.
In the middle of August last year, I came back to New York after a trip to Asheville with my best friend and her kids.
I’m lucky enough to travel with them often, but there was something particularly wonderful about that week in the mountains.
I cried my eyes out on the plane ride back to New York. I knew that my heart had become unfrozen from my big depression a couple years prior. I was grateful and terrified and in awe of life and being alive.
Three days later, I took my first class at the yoga studio that I now call home. A love affair that has lasted to this present moment began. September 2021 was its first full month.
Speaking of love, both of these two consecutive Septembers brought romantic love into my life. Same person. Each time, the love was stirred up in August, and the connection came apart—romantically, at least—by mid-October.
I look back now at those two Septembers and see my own hopefulness and sweet excitement. Of course I can’t help but also remember some of the heartache and feeling of loss that came only weeks later.
I don’t really know why I’m reflecting on all of this. Except that this month feels sweet and golden and hopeful in the same way the past two Septembers did, for different reasons.
This year I’m in love with my new neighborhood. I’m still adjusting to the miracle of being 10-15 minutes away from yoga by train. I’ve had a completely new experience of summer in New York City, and I’m excited to know what fall will be like.
There’s a part of me that’s frightened, too. It’s the imprinted memory of the past two Octobers and the sadness they brought, coupled with a tendency to be fearful of hope in general.
But I have to remember that when sadness came last October, I dealt with it on my yoga mat, surrounded by people who had become quickly, yet unequivocally, like family.
Life went on. Yoga carried me through winter, warming both my body and my spirit.
Winter became spring, and spring 2022 actually wasn’t as apprehensive for me as it usually is.
Summer was fun, chaotic, and full of new beginnings.
There’s a season for everything. I don’t know what my next season will bring, but I know that, bitter or sweet (or bittersweet), it will ultimately give way to something else.
Right now, it’s September 18th. It was a beautiful, sunny day. I wore a denim jacket this morning and was sweating and peeling off layers by the afternoon.
The San Gennaro festival is making noise and causing commotion a few blocks away. It would probably be annoying if I were even a block closer, but from a small distance it’s festive and fun.
This September Sunday was packed with things and people that I love. It was so full that I didn’t read any articles or round up any recipes, which means that there will be more to explore for next week.
I feel poignancy easily, and I sure feel it today—that ache in my heart when life is beautiful.
But that ache is a good thing to feel. And as I’ve learned, it’s good to feel, period.
Happy Sunday, friends. I’ll be back here very soon.
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