I love September sunlight. It looks different now than it did at the start of summer, when the light was intensifying and full-on through branches that hadn't filled out yet. The golden rays now dapple through tree leaves and play against shadows. There's a nuance to it: bright gold reflected in selected spots and painterly stripes, like blonde highlights. Warm and bright.

September also makes me feel nostalgic and notice the passage of time. It's a month of transition. Although in our region temperatures stay in the twenties (and occasionally, even climb into the thirties), it tends to become cooler overnight.

As we move from summer into early autumn, I try to grab and savour those last bits of warm weather activities outdoors. Things like walking along one of our beaches or piers, watching the rowers practice at the Henley, or enjoying an ice cream at the Avondale Dairy Bar. For a rare treat, I can head over to Lakeside Park where time seems to stand still as I use that loose nickel in my pocket for a carousel ride.

It's a funny time that evokes a mixture of feelings, because things are both winding down and starting up. Many of us collect seeds, make divisions and transplant them. Fruiting plants are reaching maturity and we experience celebrations around the harvest of corn, apples and pears. The big local event is the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, now in its 70th year!

This is a fantastic month for exercising outdoors, and one of my favourite things to do is hiking. We're lucky to have the Niagara escarpment nearby and many trails. Even waterfalls of varying sizes. It's not unusual to see artists sketching or painting at this time of year when the light is great and it's comfortable enough to spend a fair amount of time outside. Same goes for writing en plein air.

I try my best to appreciate these beautiful moments. I enjoy the feeling of warmth from the sun on my face or back. And it brings me joy to meet new students that arrive at the shop each year. There's a strong association between September and stationery. Even those of us who are no longer in the classroom can feel compelled to pick up a fresh notebook or pen, anticipating the start of a new season.

And like any good student, it's a great time for list-making. Getting down on paper those things that you want to finish while the weather's still warm. Making progress and last-ditch attempts to complete those year-long projects before the holidays arrive. Or sometimes it's about getting a head start on cooler weather activities, like knitting.


We hope you squeeze out the most sunshine activities you can this month. Take a moment to breathe the fresh air outside and feel the golden light. Wishing you a happy Fall Equinox this Thursday!

September 20, 2022 — Antoinette D'Angelo

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