Dancing in September
September has always been my favourite month. Apart from being the month I was brought into this world, it heralds the beginning of my favourite season as well; autumn. Leaves turn brown and orange, the evenings get shorter and darkness descends a bit quicker every day. It means warm nights inside as the rain beats against the windows and hits against the roof. It means nights of cold freshness, clear and cloudless skies with a sprinkling of glinting stars. It means wrapping up in woolly clothes and wearing socks and boots to keep the wet well away.
It is also the month of birthdays in our family. My sister and I are both September children, along with two of my aunts — my other sister just missed out on being one of the September sisters by being born in early October — the tragedy. We could have been a band. The September Sisters could have been like the Nolan sisters, or the Corrs; a nice wholesome Irish group of lovely singing girls. Or we could have been the Septic Sisters, a heavy metal group with a penchant for sewage. It could have gone either way, really. ’Twas not meant to be.
It has also recently come to my attention that September is the title of an Earth, Wind and Fire song, one that will certainly get some air time when I am next reunited with my September sister for a celebration of my birthday later this month. I won’t divulge my age, but yes, I am a fan of Earth, Wind and Fire and if that makes me ancient, then ancient I am. But an ancient with great taste in music.
September is a special month, and I’m not alone. Sharing my birth month are such greats as Bill Murray, Bruce Springsteen and Serena Williams. The greatness seeps out of our very souls. There’s also Narendra Modi and Confucius, the Chinese teacher and philosopher, who belong to the September club.
The month heralds new beginnings in many countries across the world because it is the time when schools and universities begin their new year, with children and older learners returning to class after their long days of summer fun have come to an end. For me, September is indeed a new beginning too as I finish my Master’s degree and wonder what challenge to take up next. I submitted my final assignment last week and am now awaiting my results and graduation later in the year. I wonder what the year ahead will hold for me. Who knows where I’ll be next September; perhaps back in sunny UAE or some other far flung part of the world. Either way, I’ll be taking some time to enjoy having finished this difficult year as a student, and cleaning up my books and notes that have been scattered across the dining room table for the entire year; the scene of many days of intense inquiry, frustration and joy. So I’ll be having an autumn clean-up, if you will, much to the delight of my housemate and sister, Bronagh. Perhaps now I’ll have space to finally unpack the boxes of books I had shipped from Dubai last year. They’ve been wallowing in darkness since last September, and I think it’s time to find them a home. So as I begin the big cleanup I’ll think about the wonderful month of September and how to celebrate in style. And one thing’s for sure, as Earth, Wind and Fire sang, ‘Ba de ah, Dancing in September’, is exactly what I plan to do this month every chance I get.
Christina Curran is a journalist currently studying a Masters in International Relations at Queen’s University, Belfast.