September is a time for warm sunshine between rain storms; fire smoke, football (Go Hawks!) and hunting. It’s a rough and tumble time of year , early fall.
It’s a time of year for mulled cider, and starting homemade items to give as presents come Christmas because all those presents take longer to make than you think and before you know it there will be others over wanting to work on their gifts at your place and when that happens, you’ll have to have theirs already finished and hid.
It’s a time wild birds get drunk on Madrona berries and crash into windows so you have to be prepared for wild bird first aid. This consists mainly of keeping them safe from cats, dogs, and other bigger birds while they regain consciousness.
It’s a time when gully-washers spark gobs of frogs to hop across highways. What the reason for this phenomenon is, I have no idea.
Slugs reappear. Spiders spread glimmering webs, mushrooms magically appear, and yellow jackets buzz the ground looking for winter residences. Geese practice flying formations so the youngsters get the hang of in-air discipline: right=honk. Left=honk honk honk. I’ve yet to figure out how many honks equals STOP or DIVE.
The first time I remember watching the wild geese fly was while we were living on base (Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.) It was early morning and I was at the kitchen table eating Fruit Loops. The leaves on the trees across the way and the colors in the morning sky looked like the colors inside my cereal bowl. To this day, Fall reminds me of a bowl of Fruit Loops. And as I played with my cereal and watched outside through the kitchen window, a honking began. Gaggling. A gaggle of geese honked, creating the largest, noisiest letter of the alphabet, a southward moving V, above the Fruit Loop colored leaves beneath the Fruit Loop colored sky.
September is a time to meet new people and animals.
One Fall, four baby squirrels fell out of one of our big-leafed Maple trees. My son happened to be sitting underneath the tree when they fell. As they fell. He yelled, “Mom!” He quickly took his shirt off and cradled it as firemen would a jumper’s tarpoline. But I was in the doorway already, watching, and when he looked behind and saw me he hollered, “Squirrels!” and I hurried over to help.
Four survived. Their eyes were closed still, they were so young. The only reason they ventured out from their nest was that they were hungry. We figured a cat had killed their momma. We’d come across her carcass a few days before but hadn’t realized she was a momma when we buried her. And these poor babies finally ventured out, blindly groping for life. That was the fall I learned that baby squirrels were fed cat’s milk that I could buy at the local Co-op store. That just didn’t seem right, but it worked. We raised four baby squirrels that year and loosed them into nearby Maples when we figured they could make it on their own. The squirrels we have here now, fifteen plus years later, are their descendants.
September is a time to remember, mull life. I worry when I haven’t heard from those I love for a while. It’s a time to begin slowing down and keep in touch. Sometimes remembering hurts. Life is bittersweet. We’ve endured great joys and inevitable loss. The leaves dry and color. Some fall early. To all to each, eventually. Time counts. Understanding matters. Sharing life matters. Knowing you’re thought of warmly matters. Keep in touch. Winter is a cold place to be without the insulation gathered during our Septembers.
Some will meet the love of their life this month. My folks met in September.
My folks have a “song” that is “theirs.” Soon after they met, my dad asked this new gal of his if she’d like to go pheasant hunting with him and she said yes. A friend of his cooked the birds he shot and this has been the “special” month that’s lasted throughout their lifetime together. Every September my dad has sung The September Song to my mom but now, he told her, “I’ll have to mouth it. I don’t sing so well anymore.”
The last few years, when I’ve listened to The September Song my heart feels heavy. Time grows short. They know it. All us kids know it. I mean, we also know that anyone of us kids or grandkids could leave this world before mom or dad, but still. Dad will be 90 soon and mom’s not far behind. They remind us enduring love does exist. It’s a real thing.
Like I said, time is precious. Here is their song, my parent’s song. The September Song.