September is a treat for the senses. The air feels fresher, the colors of nature burst with vibrancy, and morning coffee tastes better on a cool patio as geese squawk overhead – the original snowbirds heading south for the winter. And for me, September always brings the faint smell of early harvest: the raw-earth odor of dirt-coated potatoes conveying into damp cellars, fresh-baked apple pies cooling on Grandma’s flour sack tea towels, and the delightful aroma of a young Beaujolais – new wine that is bottled right after fermentation without aging.
Aging seems to be on my mind. My birthday is tomorrow, and I need to find a Beaujolais because there is no time to waste. After several decades of abundant living, I’m hesitant to wait too much longer for wine to mature. I resemble a kid in a candy store at closing time – too many wonderful choices, so little time.
This month our family will celebrate three birthdays, two wedding anniversaries, and the birth of a grandchild. As part of a wonderful cultural and universal tradition, I recently folded baby clothes with my pregnant daughter-in-law. “Oh, look at this one!” we exclaimed with each tiny onesie. I took extra time to fold the sleeper that my son once wore. He’ll be an incredible father.
Our family celebrated another milestone this week as my daughter’s daughter started kindergarten. She wore shoes that light up with every step. I want shoes like that. I also want to experience the freshness of a new adventure, new friends, and new ideas to learn. In the autumn of life, there is still so much to do and I don’t want to miss anything. Well, if I had to do it all over again, I would like to avoid all those painful trips to the Principal’s Office.
On a poignant note, I am ready to reach this birthday because I’ll have outlived my father. Every day from here on is a gift that I intend to open and enjoy. Getting older is a blessing that many don’t receive. So, before I get too serious, I’ll go shopping for a new pencil box, a Big Chief tablet, and a nice Cabernet. And I’ll look for wine that is mature but sassy, full-bodied, a bit complex, and slightly sophisticated. Studley and I will enjoy it tonight on the patio and toast to another day, another September, another sensual feast of life. Cue the music.
Today’s blog is fueled by a 2009 Franciscan Cabernet from Napa Valley. It’s around $40 and best when shared outside with friends.