September has always been one of my very favourite months. When I was a child in Canada I loved watching the leaves change from green to red and gold, feeling the crisp note of autumn in the air, and getting ready to go back to school.
Here in England, September is usually a last taste of summer and when the sun shines it is glorious. Of course, too often it rains, but it isn’t the same as the horrid damp rains of October and November, when towels refuse to dry and the dampness makes you feel like you might never be warm again. September’s rain is capricious - here one minute and gone the next - clouds appearing and disappearing on a whim. The leaves change colour (albeit not so spectacularly as in Canada), dahlias and zinnias bloom in the garden, the air becomes crisp and there is a hint of optimism in the air.
While I love the busy heyday of summer with its varied schedule and excitement, there is something comforting about coming back to routine - well, as close to a routine as we ever get in our house. To me, September is a luscious combination of that return and lots of new beginnings. I feel much more inclined to get organised, spruce things up and start anew. I’ve never felt much like spring cleaning in the spring-time. The weather calls you outside and the last thing you want to do is be inside tidying your closets. But September is another story. The rich colours of my autumn clothes inspire me and I love thinking about transition wardrobes and slowly breaking out my woolly sweaters. I feel encouraged to get my home ready for the new season. Cleaning, sorting and organising are less chore-like now, and more satisfying.
As for resolutions, I have never understood why I would want to make them in January - one of the coldest, dampest, darkest months of the year. September is much more inspiring. I always find exercising so much easier in the autumn, and it feels natural to eat healthily. Long walks in the crisp autumn air are too much fun to be exercise, but my body feels the benefit of them nonetheless.
In the kitchen I’m savouring rich stews and bakes, using the abundance of the harvest and seasoning with cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and allspice. Radio 4 plays comfortingly in the background as I bake pies and fruit crumbles. September is all this and more.
Soon it will be cooler, darker and damper, and I will enjoy lighting the fireplace and begin the sometimes frantic preparations for Christmas - but for now, it is September. Glorious, mercurial, abundant September - and I’m loving every minute of it.