SEPTEMBER is probably my favourite month. It holds the warmth of the sun and the length of days, so winter still seems at a distance. There are enough flowers in the gardens to brighten our moods, dahlias and roses, reminding us that jewels can grow and surround us every day.
The leaves on the trees are just beginning to turn to copper and gold, canopies of glory for us all to share as we gently leave our long summer days behind.
Inside our homes some of our minds turn to preserving blackberries from hedgerows or apples from the trees in our gardens, or our neighbours’ gardens or that estate down the road, where they wouldn’t notice a bag of apples gone. And that fills our senses with gratitude for the wealth of nature, memories of times past or the pleasure of passing skills to the generation to come. And we know that in months to come the little jars with little wax disks and elastic bands will be joyfully received by our family and friends as gifts of joy and tastiness.
September brings us a wealth that is not stolen, where no-one is enslaved or held in perpetual poverty to sustain it. We can all share in its joy. It is a democratic month where some can remain in summer, wearing their shorts right to the end in defiance of chillier winds, and others can pull on the boots and tights, even if it is still a little warm.
And as it passes, which it inevitably will, some will be more sad than others. Some will welcome October with the lighting of the fire at night and the clocks going back and the delicious welcoming of witches, banshees and púca. Others will mourn the passing of the last of the summer, because they really love the light. And others, many, will be less fortunate and be understandably more worried about mounting bills, no cash left for food at the end of any month and can’t bear to imagine what Christmas will be like this year.
Because the winter is coming and it will be cold and vicious. But that is next month, this month we will prioritise what is important for ourselves, our families and our people, because we need to, if we are to have the strength for the cold months ahead. That is my home anyway.
I respect anyone who has different priorities and a different emphasis because they mourn the passing of the Queen of England, but she is not my queen. My September is spent mourning the queen that was in my life, my mother. September brings memories of a very sad diagnosis and the beginning of a few short weeks before she passed at the age of 50. She had lived a life oppressed and repressed, a woman born into the reactionary, partitioned “Free” State. I am sorry for the troubles of anyone losing their mother.
Let us live with respect for each other’s Septembers, complex, different, similar. Let us respect the choices of our different people. I’m glad I’ve turned off my television and radio, because I know my views are not respected by those demanding respect this week. But okay. The apple and pear trees in my garden are calling me and I choose them this September.