September, my favorite month, has arrived! The first reason for this preference no longer fits, but I hold to it anyway. In my childhood, September signaled the beginning of school. I loved the smell of yellow pencils although I did not associate them, as Eudora Welty did, with the whiff of yellow daffodils – yet another proof that her imagination stretched farther than mine. I treasured the brand new Blue Horse tablet for the promise of math story problems to be solved and properly labelled and even more for the words to be written on its pages.
Even as we crept farther and farther back into August with school beginnings after I became the teacher, I held onto my September excitement. We’d taken care of rules, regulations, and my expectations for behavior and work ethic in the August segment and the fun of teaching and learning could begin in earnest by early September.
A former student, now a college professor, wrote on Facebook this week about his excitement at the beginning of a new school year. As yellow buses roll past my house, I think of him and other teachers who continue to bring September excitement into their classrooms and vicariously share their joy.
Other reasons for being partial to September have no basis except pleasure.
• The cooler morning air means I can begin my first readings for the day in the porch swing and gives me hope that I can work outside at the patio table all day by the end of the month.
• The butterflies and hummingbirds and the lantana from which they drink have reached their peak and put on a show outside my office window.
• There’s my birthday this month that has lost the thrill of adding another year, but still brings a load of firewood, my birthday present from Al, in anticipation of the coming winter blaze in the fireplace.
• And certainly not least, this week marks the beginning of all day Saturday college football! Neither set of my bears (Baylor and Ole Miss) has lost a game. The month will be even better if I’m still able to say that when it is over.
So let the games begin and join me in “The Sweet Song of September.”