It’s September. In my New York-raised brain that means so very many things to me. It means the influx of cinnamon and pumpkin spiced everything. It means back to school, last lifeguard whistles and nerves for the impending school year. It means nights begin to get shorter, evenings become crisp and Facebook® feeds fill with questions of the best apple picking, hayrides or other fall festival activities. It means pollen counts rise and allergies arrive as my itchy eyes notify me of ragweed’s arrival before any weather person can. It means dread appears in the impending winter and trying to figure out where to book a holiday to avoid the onslaught of snow, ice and cold that makes my face hurt. It starts the thought of a winter with layers for outside and the need to have the speed of a NASCAR driver to remove said layers inside before the overheating process begins. September means holidays, fall sports and a new year. September also means my birthday.
I’m a summer girl. While others find excitement in those NFL commercials, I dread them as they mean, in New York, my favourite season is coming to a close. Although I look forward to the World Series, that time of year holds memories of bronchitis and endless sinus infections mixed with fond ones of glittery homecomings. When one of my best friend’s finds joy in her favourite ‘sweater season’, I wonder how long I can eek out my flip flops until my toes are actually going to fall off. I’m a one-season kind of girl. My heart belongs to summer.
But this September, we’re in San Diego – a land of minimal seasons and endless beach days. Already, this one feels different. I’ve now had a few years to shake off that impending doom of ‘back to school’, yet still, the start of September holds its meaning. There’s still a bit of the autumnal flavourings peppering the shelves of southern California shops, but nothing like back East. Stores have shifted to their fall collections, although, I wonder for what the gloves and scarves are needed at the moment (if ever). My seasonal nemesis, ragweed, isn’t here! The biggest difference for me is my travel perspective. Each year as summer winds down, I get excited for my birthday but feel antsy that my autumn/winter plans aren’t yet made and there’s that creeping dread that I might be ‘stuck’ in town in the midst of the big freeze (which for me lasts from about November through April). This year is already different…we’ve been avoiding winter since December 2014 and I’m quite convinced it’s okay to do it again. This year, oddly enough, I’m happy to stay put. I’m content to see where the wind takes us or stay in town for my first San Diegan autumn. I’m seeing a season where I don’t put away my flip-flops and can continue a summer attitude all the year through. This should be interesting!
For those who enjoy the flavours of fall, welcome to your favourite season…(and to my Aussie friends…happy spring) I’m eager to join you in a salute to September. My next-door neighbor in Long Beach used to save his days off for this month to surf (in his opinion) some of the best wave-riding days. To you all, I wish the month ahead to have days filled with the best waves or whatever ‘the best’ of September means to you. September always gave me great beach days in Long Beach and I know it’ll be just as wonderful here. September was always a beginning but often held so very many endings. This time around it’s only beginnings. This year, I’m not just excited for my birthday…I’m excited for September and all she has to offer.