September is my favorite month. The cynics among you who know me well will assume it’s only because the children are back in school, but that’s not the case. It’s because of autumn.
I’m not into pumpkin spice everything. (Does it occur to anyone that pumpkin isn’t a spice? And pumpkin spice is a spice blend? It’s not like one spice. Anyway.) It’s just the season itself–the crisp mornings, the changing colors, the rain, the last burst of summer we often get when it’s still comfortable to wear sandals and capris during the day, but we have to put on jackets in the evening. This is my favorite time of year–that time before the brutal East Wind starts driving icepicks through our chests here on the west end of the Columbia River Gorge, before the encroaching Christmas rush threatens to choke the joy out of the whole season, before the long stretch of darkness in January and February depletes all the vitamin D from the Pacific Northwest population. It’s after the heat, after the harried rush of summer, after the bickering siblings go back to school. It’s a lull–a rest–a retreat.