Bittersweet September

I have mixed feelings about September. It is a bittersweet month; another summer has passed too quickly, the days are shorter, and the cool nights are a portent of the rains and gloom to come. At the same time, the crisp September air brings with it a wondrous sense of renewal and hopefulness, too. It reminds me of when I was returning to school in the fall as a child - my notebooks were pristine and unmarked, pencils were sharpened, I had a new outfit and new shoes, and anything seemed possible.

My father passed away at the beginning of July and I didn't get back to the island until the end of the month. We had had an unusually cool spring and early summer and it seemed as though the good weather had been waiting for me to return home. The long, lazy days gave me plenty of time to reflect on my father's full and happy life and get used to the idea of never hearing his voice again (as if someone can really get used to that). Visiting friends and family provided a helpful distraction and the garden and kitchen kept me from allowing my thoughts to drift toward the melancholic.

There were plenty of cheerful kids around,too. We fired up the oven for pizza and I taught a French friend's daughter how to make pate a choux.

I didn't do much preserving this year but some gorgeous yellow plums from a neighbour's tree went into a dozen or so jars of plum and vanilla jam.

I'm feeling energized and optimistic and looking forward to returning to blogging after a break of almost a year. La vita e veramente bella!