September is the ninth month of the year, the seventh of the Roman calendar. It is 30 days long. There are two astrological signs in the month -- Virgo runs 'til the 22nd, and Libra starts on the 23rd. Major September holidays include the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox, between the 21st and the 23rd, Labor Day on the first Monday of the month, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (often but not always in September), and my birthday. It is my second favorite month.
September is traditionally the beginning of the school year. It's the month of new paper, new pencils, new lunchboxes, new crayons with a built-in sharpener. It's the month of new classes and teachers, clean restrooms and dorms, new clothing and classmates. It's kids crying for mama on the first day of kindergarten, meeting your first roommate in college, getting lost on the first day in high school, seeing people you didn't realize you missed all summer long.
September is the end of summer's worst heat and the beginning of autumn's cooldown. More moderate days, cool and comfortable nights. But there's still a hint of decay -- the end of summer means the approach of winter's killing freezes. Appreciate that pleasant weather while you can, because it won't be long before you're wrapped in winter coats, wishing for warmth again.
September is the month of football. It isn't the most important football month -- there are no championships at stake. But it's the beginning of the season, and optimism about the gridiron is at its peak. The pleasant weather and the new school year conspire to make the new football season a perfect autumn tradition. Everyone gets reacquainted with the cool autumn nights, marching band routines, spastic cheerleaders, snack bar cuisine, and the smack of pads hitting pads.
September is the traditional beginning of the harvest. Apples, summer melons, and grapes are some of the crops that are often harvested in September. You like caramel apples, don't you? Wouldn't a caramel apple taste good right now?
September is the best month for county fairs and carnivals. If you want to eat turkey legs or funnel cakes or a wide variety of deep-fried delicacies, the county fair is the place to be. The 4-H kids are showing off their steers and barrows and lambs and chickens, and the garden club gives demonstrations on flower arranging. Farmers' wives compete in cooking contests and display their canned preserves. You can ride the ferris wheel or bumper cars or the zipper, and you can throw your money away on shooting galleries and ball games.
September is my second favorite month. It's a good month for walking outside, a good month for sitting out on the porch and drinking a beer, a good month for staying up late and watching the moon. It's a good month, and I'll always consider it the real beginning of the year.