September 12, 2016 by Jean
I’m not quite sure what happened to August. One day I blinked and it was September. And September brings the turn away from summer and toward winter, which makes it a busy season. There is a new urgency about completing summer projects; activities that were on hiatus for the summer start up again; and the shortening days remind me that it’s time to get ready for winter.
Last Thursday, after a summer away from singing, I attended this year’s first rehearsal of the Maine Music Society Chorale. It seemed a bit odd to be singing Christmas music on a steamy late summer evening, but this is a reminder that winter is on its way. Another reminder came on Friday when my winter firewood was delivered. A small mountain of wood (almost as tall as I am) is now sitting in my driveway waiting to be stacked.
Before I can get down to serious work on stacking the firewood, though, I need to finish my summer gardening projects. I finished preparing and planting my big side slope at the end of August, and now I’m starting work on the next part of my front garden, a 200-square-foot planting of fragrant flowers under my bedroom window. My original plan was to see how far I could get during the fall on preparing the soil for this planting, to design the planting over the winter, and then to put the plants in next spring. That changed when I learned that the owners of my favorite plant nursery have decided to retire and are closing the nursery at the end of this month. Not only won’t this great source of plants be available to me next spring, but they’re giving enormous discounts now as they sell off their stock. Suddenly, it has become a priority to get this area of the garden finished this month. I’ve been working on the planting design and have already purchased many of the plants. On Saturday, I had a truckload of compost delivered that now needs to be mixed into the soil. My current plan is to finish preparing this soil by the end of September so that I can get plants installed early in October.
In case that wasn’t enough to do, September is also the beginning of the school year. My neighbor has already started her teaching year, and we will resume our weekly dinners at my house this week. For me, the beginning of school means Senior College is starting up again. I am getting material prepared for my course on Women’s Activism in 19th Century America, which will start next week. I’m also taking a course this term, on investing. (I had hoped to take beginner Tai Chi, but I didn’t get my registration sent in early enough to snag one of the 15 spaces in that class.) I also have two more classes toward my Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens this month. This week, I will participate in a one-day class on gathering seeds from wild plants. At the end of the month, I will travel out to the botanical gardens for a two-day class on invasive plants.
All of this leaves me feeling a bit breathless, but I’m also feeling that excitement of new beginnings I’ve always associated with fall. Suddenly my life is very full.