September 28, 2007
My wife was born in September. That alone would make it my favorite month. But September, which will leave us once again on Sunday night until next year, has so many advantages, so many charms that it would likely be my favorite month anyway. I was getting off a plane in New England recently and commented to a couple exiting with me that it was a nice time to be there. He replied, Its September. Thats a nice to time to be anywhere. Touch. September is the cusp month. It is the fulcrum between summer and fall and, of course, fall officially kicks in, silently, during the pre-dawn hours on the 23rd day. Around that time everything changes. Kids go back to school, tourists go back to work. Baseball games count double for teams in the postseason hunt and count half for the teams that lost their steam during the dog days of summer. Football is in full swing. The weather begins to change, and though we may get warm temperatures, the hot days feel different than they did just weeks before when we sweltered in the summer sun. Now we bask in the rays at midday and slip on a sweater to ward off the chill of the northern wind that stirs in the early evenings. And, of course, the colors change. Ah, the glorious colors of September. Here in Aspen we get some of the earliest and most dramatic color to be found anywhere in this hemisphere. The gold rules as the aspens scream into fall, contrasting with burnt orange and fiery red scrub oak and framed by green pines. An artists palette can replicate but never truly duplicate the colors of Colorado in the fall. As a kid, September was like a sentence. While even then I appreciated the change of seasons, the impending curtailment of my personal freedom that school imposed was paramount in my mind. The thought that summer had ended and I was now a prisoner of an 8:05-to-3:05 world was unbearable, and I rebelled against it each year from September to June. But as I got older and began to see the beauty of September change sans the chains of school (OK, so I also have come to understand the advantages an education brings), I also started to appreciate just how terrific fall is. It is, at least today, my favorite season. As we move through the coming weeks, fall in Aspen will give way to the winds of winter. Rains at first, followed by freezing rains and finally snow. The mountains will turn white and the gold in the hills will fade. And before too long, it will be winter and well be boarding and skiing and driving on icy roads and the light will go early and the sun will rise later. At that time, I likely will think that winter is the best season of all. But for now, fall is my fave. My wife was born in September. That, alone, is all I need to make it my favorite month.
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