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Hooray LJ bug in the new upgrade - if, like me, you're having trouble making an entry using rich text, go to change settings and make your default html.

Annoying, but hopefully it will be fixed soon. At least, I hope so - my html isn't that good, and I like having all my little doo-dads and effects handy.

But let's talk about happier things - September is one of my favourite months; Autumn, with the start of the school year, and the hope of cooler weather on the way, always seems to promise new and good things.

I'm not alone in this, I know - the way schools elevate students to the next grade in the Autumn has imposed the feeling of a "new" year on lots of us - more specific than Spring, or even the switch from December to January, because school is the dominant factor of our formative years. Spring is just a fuzzy point in the middle of the second semester, and Christmas only means the grade year is half over (though the presents are nice). No, it's September (okay, now the end of August for some of you) that is the step up to the next year of your life.

(This obviously does not apply to those schools that have a year-round curriculum. The pros and cons of those systems can be debated, but the loss of the summer vacation seems almost catastrophic to those of us who depended on those non-school months and their sweet, zombie-like levels of brain inactivity.)

My memories of childhood are (somewhat arbitrarily) divided by place and season - Summer and the depths of Winter are Bamburgh, Spring is my Grandmother's house in Hedenham Norfolk, and Autumn is London, school, and the smell of plane tree leaves in the rain. Autumn weekend memories are of chestnut picking in Richmond Park, and Sunday excursions to Cliveden and Polesden Lacey - both houses my Grandfather ran as part of his job for the National Trust.

(My father remembers living at Polesden Lacey during the War (WWII), and seeing room after room filled with national treasures, as Polesden was used as a repository for things removed from London museums for the duration of the war.)

But most of all, I remember the feel of school - gathering greenery from the garden for my school church's Harvest Festival, the smell of Michaelmas daisies and chrysanthemums, Guy Fawkes Day - and my birthday.

These memories remain strong, even though my primary and secondary school years were more than half a lifetime ago. The smell of burning leaves (now forbidden in London), picking crab apples off the tree in the back garden and making jelly, blackberries and rosehips in the hedgerows - and over it all, the smell of Autumn itself, a tangible smell, like biting into a dried apple. This has always been my time of year - Summer is too bright, Spring too unpredictable, Winter too dreary.

Those of you living on the East coast of the US get one of the best autumnal gifts of all - the trees here put on a show like nowhere else on earth. The arboreous firework show of Fall puts the most vivid painter's palette to shame. Every Autumn I feel profoundly lucky to live in this area.

I'm a redhead; Autumn is my time.

September is also a time to start fresh, to look forward to what the new school year will bring - no matter how old we are. Leave your excuses behind with the summer heat and humidity, and pull out your project list. Why not finally start that big project you've been dreaming about? No timeline for finishing, just a promise to start. An hour, half an hour, maybe just fifteen minutes a day - each fifteen minutes is that much closer to completion, that much closer to the finish. Before you know it, you'll be deep into your project, and then it will be done - and you'll have the rest of your life to wear/admire it. What could be better?

It's time.

Comments

( 44 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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sunniva_kyrre
Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
I always do my "spring cleaning" in September. It's my favorite month too.
theodorad
Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
I'm a redhead; Autumn is my time.

Ditto. I have been manfully resisting forays to the office supply store - I don't need any supplies, I just seem to want fresh notebooks, unsharpened pencils and new pens for no real reason other than it's fall.
attack_laurel
Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
I love school supplies - I buy new pens with abandon, and as many notebooks as I think I can get away with. Bonus if they're super-pretty, which my current set are. :)
(no subject) - hugh_mannity - Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - eithni - Sep. 3rd, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
kass_rants
Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
I feel very similarly, except that for me Autumn starts in October. This is probably because my birthday (my "New Year") starts in October. But also, I expect, it's because the first frost comes in October and kills off this horrendous ragweed. *ahhh-chooooo*
attack_laurel
Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
I love October - it's when the poison ivy starts dying. *grrrr*

I think of September as the appetizer, and October as the main course. November is dessert, and the beginning of December is the fortune cookie (my birthday is Dec, 2). :)
(no subject) - kass_rants - Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
baronessadriana
Sep. 3rd, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Autumn is my favorite season as well. There's a reason we got married in October. The weather is cool enough but not cold yet, and the fall colors are rich and gorgeous.

Fall smells like pumpkin, cinnamon, hot cocoa and apples.

Yumm.


Edited at 2008-09-03 02:08 pm (UTC)
sewloud
Sep. 3rd, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
and even more importantly it has my birthday! :-p
isenglass
Sep. 3rd, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way. My husband and I kissed for the first time at our town's autumn festival under the fireworks and we got married two years later close to the same date in September.

I think that's also why I was really pushing to open my shop this month too. I made it! Whew! Yay for new beginnings!
attack_laurel
Sep. 3rd, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
Awwww, that's so sweet! Bob and I got married at the courthouse in Annapolis on September 12th 1997 - and went out to spend a weekend at Deep Creek Lake. It was perfect. Come Friday week, we'll have been married 11 years. o_0 Time flies!

(We had the wedding party in October.)

Edited at 2008-09-03 03:15 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - leofwynne - Sep. 3rd, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - isenglass - Sep. 3rd, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - albreda - Sep. 3rd, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
chargirlgenius
Sep. 3rd, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
I was just looking at the cupboard the other day, starting to get that itch to make pumpkin pudding, hot chocolate, and go buy apple cider.

My favorite months are September through December. I love that humans have to come together to create warmth, when the weather stops doing it for us. I love the anticipation of school starting, the fall season, baking, and then even the craziness of the Christmas season. Once January second hits, it might as well just skip right on to April.

I love visiting Wisconsin in late September/early October, because then it feels like I get fall twice. Even better than the peak of the leaves, is just past peak, when there are still some on the trees, but more on the ground, just ready to be crunched by hikers on the trail.

Mmm.
gwynubis
Sep. 3rd, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
Fall is my favorite season. I have a september birthday and there's just that nip in the air that's just precious. Reminds me of marching band season.

The seasonal changes are just more dramatic. I head to Pennsylvania for weekends just to see the leaves change.

Outdoor events are also more weather tolerable, like Harvest Day and Red Dragon (midrealm events).
isenglass
Sep. 3rd, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
I <3 marching bands!
(no subject) - nq3x - Sep. 3rd, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gwynubis - Sep. 3rd, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nq3x - Sep. 3rd, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nicolaa5 - Sep. 3rd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
ealdthryth
Sep. 3rd, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
I always start getting more energy as fall approaches. Fall is my favorite season.
hsifeng
Sep. 3rd, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
The Fall is my favorite season! Wind, rain, the trees 'coming apart'. *le sigh* I recall the old Halloween Carnival that the small town I grew up in used to put in; the haunted house put together by the eight grade class, the Town Hall transformed into a miniature festival grounds with loads of booths and a cake-walk table, bobbing for apples (yes, really!), and getting up the courage to take a dare and walk down the unlit street to the community cemetery around the corner.

I don’t even know if they put that Carnival on anymore.

The berries, the apples, the garden being plucked of its last summer crop and the work of canning and making jams and preserves: Lord, I even miss all that! *grin*

What a wonderful time of year!
maricelt
Sep. 3rd, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I'm a redhead; Autumn is my time.
I hear ya sista'. The cool crisp mornings, the snap in the air that melts into beautiful golden warmth of the afternoon. Autumn is the time of the year that I love the most.
francesca_tessa
Sep. 3rd, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
I especially agree with the last paragraph...I am so hardwired that way!
femkederoas
Sep. 3rd, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
Strangely, my favorite season tends to be whatever one is coming next. Right now, I crave apple cider, visits to the pumpking patch, hot cocoa, and a serious fall baking binge. Come mid-november, I'll be ready for snow, holiday parties, and curling up with a good book. By February, I'm ready for soft Spring breezes and planting the garden. In April, I'm ready for strawberries, the smell of the breeze off the lake, and the sound of the ice cream truck.

I can't move out of the temperate zone!
elasait
Sep. 3rd, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
I teach, so for me it really *is* the beginning of a new year. Though school here keeps starting earlier and earlier...the kids came back August 21.
sigkit
Sep. 4th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Fall is lovely, the color and the smell but it is also painful. The sudden temperature drops can incapacitate me just when I want to enjoy it. By the time I get used to it, it's winter. Sigh. I like autumn better than Spring, my other favorite season, but I don't always get to enjoy it as much as I like. Wishing you a happy fall full of things to enjoy and projects that work smoothly.
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