I was ready to turn my back on August. Forty widths of the pool under a dramatic partly cloudy sky helped me kiss the hottest month ever in the Valley of the Sun goodbye.
September began swimmingly.
In the 1960s on the first of September, Dad would shout “September morn” gleefully when my sister Diane and I walked into our suburban St. Louis kitchen for breakfast. It was a greeting his grandmother bestowed on him as a child. He loved it so much he embraced the tradition. Years later Mom adopted the practice when she woke us from our teenage slumber.
Dad thought September was the most beautiful month of the year. I believed him. The mornings and nights were cooler. The afternoon shadows longer. The hues and possibilities deeper.
If you followed September’s signs, they led you to the land of beginnings. Back-to-school shopping with Mom. A fresh supply of spiral notebooks, unopened boxes of crayons, striped shirts, blue jeans, and high-top Keds from Sears. A new teacher with new ideas in a new classroom. A mix of familiar and new-in-town classmates.
As a kid, I always envied Diane. She had a late September birthday. In my crew-cut brain, I fused it with the happy memory of a rhyme we chanted together: “September wears a party dress of lavender and gold.”
Even at sixty-three, seeing the first light in the Sonoran Desert on this September morn made me giddy. As Tom and I glided through the water, back and forth across the pool, it helped me to realize that newness is never far away on the horizon.
Sometimes we just have to search a little longer to find September’s first light peeking through the clouds.
6 thoughts on “September Morn”
What a fun piece, Mark, that stirs some good memories. September, to me, always meant the excitement of a new school year. It meant warm days and cool nights. It meant a new TV season of brand new, fun network shows. It was the corn getting really tall in the field behind the houses across the street. It meant the beginning of Fall.
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Thanks Tom. I love your memory of the corn growing tall in the field behind the houses across the street when you lived on the cusp of suburbia.
Thanks, and Happy September.
On Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 10:13 AM Mark Johnson Stories wrote:
> Mark Johnson posted: ” I was ready to turn my back on August. Forty widths > of the pool under a dramatic partly cloudy sky helped me kiss the hottest > month ever in the Valley of the Sun goodbye. September began swimmingly. In > the 1960s on the first of September, Dad would sh” >
You too Carol!
I’m partial to October with its scrappy gripping a hold of the last nice weather. The final month before deer season begins and I lose my wood to six out of seven days of gun-toting idiots firing at anything (including a runner) that moves. Plus my birthday is in October. But September is nice too.
October is beautiful. Here in Arizona it’s still warm enough to swim, though I miss the fall colors.