Tuesday, September 8, 2009
For me, the week after Labor Day always marks the true beginning of a new year. As a student, it brought the start of a new school year. When I lived in New York City, everything seemed exciting and electrified in September. There were new ideas and new films and new projects flying around. It always amazes me that even the weather comes alive overnight, with a crispness and a welcome cooling that allows you to try out the new sweater or jacket you just bought.
This morning, I can see that the horses feel the difference too. They are frisky in the corral, jockeying at the gate for first position as they go into the pasture. When they are set free, they race around in circles, chasing each other and kicking up their heels. I know we’re in for more hot weather and Indian summer, but it’s the beginning of my favorite season.
This year, somehow, it’s strange that autumn doesn’t have the joy that it usually does for me. There’s relief for having made it through August, which was a difficult month. But I’m also waiting for news on several important, anxiety-making projects, and it’s hard to be patient. I’ve turned my attention to the horses while I wait. Even there, I’m monitoring Siete’s back hooves for signs of an abscess. Her soreness comes and goes, so I’m worrying that we might be starting our traditional bout with Lyme Disease. It’s happened at this time of year ever since we’ve moved here. So, September is arriving with uncertainty, not its usual exuberance.
It's led me to think about how carefully one must fan the flames of hope or they will just disappear. I also realize that I rarely focus on the decaying that comes with the end of summer. I’ve been noticing more recently the flowers that are dying and the leaves that already have begun to fall. The tomato season was a bust here this year, with a blight taking most of the bounty from my neighbors’ gardens. So, it feels like special attention must be given to finding the bright side of things.
I’ve been telling Silk and Siete all the good stuff we have to look forward to in the coming weeks. There will be lots of delicious apples. The trails become more accessible as the foliage disappears. We won’t need fly spray, and Silk’s itchiness will be gone. There will be pumpkins and hayrides, and my daughter and her friends are making a big scarecrow for a charity auction. The prediction is that the leaves will put on an extra special burst of color with all the rain we’ve had. So, for now, I’m going to let go of what I can’t control and just try to enjoy the sight of two beautiful red horses playing in the cool morning mist.