The ‘ber Months: Mundane Moments

Appreciating the Small, Unique Beauties of Life in Sept. – Dec.
A fallen maple leaf floating across the waters of Shaw Creek on the afternoon of Sept. 9.
A fallen maple leaf floating across the waters of Shaw Creek on the afternoon of Sept. 9.
Hanna Grass

September, October, November, and December are what are oftentimes known as the “’ber months,” and with them is a multitude of excitement, change, and celebration. The limbs and leafy fingers of nature blush, crisping red and orange. The wind becomes rowdy, tousling our hair and carrying creatures south as they migrate. The mercury in our thermometers shifts as temperatures dip and Jack Frost teases us with his snowy smirk.

The seasons saunter by and autumnal culture booms, especially in the world of materialism. This four-month period of our year is without a doubt my favorite, but not for the cinnamon spice flavored frappuccinos or “Happy Fall Y’all” plaques hung on front doors. I turn a blind eye to pumpkin patch photoshoots and hand-turkeys turbulently traced by toddlers. Not to discount the sweetness of these traditions, for their trendy swank and high-saturated style is an aesthetic some adore. To each their own, truly. However, to me, it is the mundane moments unique to my life that place the ‘ber months on a pedestal.

September through December is a time of appreciation and gratitude, in more ways than one. The most obvious aspect of this is, of course, Thanksgiving. Every family celebrates their thanks for the loves in their lives in their own manner. Some choose to attend a church service and take a moment of silence in the candle-lit ambiance to reflect on the blessings around them. Some choose to gather around a grand table, grasp each other’s hands, and feast on foods rich in flavor. We indulge to remind ourselves of the greatness and beauty of life, and that unto itself is a bewitching tradition.

In approaching such a holiday, we will watch as stores clutter up with gauzy fabrics, styrofoam skulls, and overpriced outfits resembling creatures and characters straight from a Hollywood horror show. Candies of every flavor, texture, and color create sticky fingers and toothaches. Haunted houses, forests, and hills will leave teens screaming, crying, and clinging to limbs of their loved ones, but nonetheless, Halloween is an adored era each year.

Fear-seekers and adrenaline-junkies will thrive, and I have come to understand that inducing that heart pounding rush can make the calm comfort of everyday life all the more special. Realizing that we live in a world free from vicious vampires, shapeshifting werewolves, ghoulish gargoyles, and killer clowns is strangely reassuring. We may exist in a time where societal expectations cause stress, anxiety, and uncomfortable emotions, but these enemies lie within our own minds. They do not have bloody fangs or sharp talons, and facing costumed figures with these frightening features can dull the bite of our own inner demons.

In the most beloved ‘ber month, December, the festivities are never ending. In fact, it may seem pointless to try and find mundane moments to appreciate during these 31 days when there is already so much holly-jolly energy in the air. Tinsel and twinkling lights, aromas of pine and peppermint, velvety soft sweaters and cheery smiles of carolers; there is an abundance of allure in the holidays.

This all being said, I have decided to challenge myself by looking for new, unnoticed, overlooked, and underappreciated aspects of this latter part of the ‘ber months. I will take note of the frosty dew drops that cling to a spider’s web, and how the rouge on my lover’s cheeks glows peachy in the cold. I open my ears and smile when I hear someone say they are going out to warm the car up for another. I close my eyes and feel the steam rise from rich cocoa, homemade soup, or spiced cider. I open them to spot shapes in its warm whisps like children do to the clouds.

The facts of life that we see as normalcy are, in my newfound perspective, what makes the days worth living. Routine is comforting, but repetition can become draining. Shifting one’s gaze to the smaller snapshots, versus an overarching feeling, can help fend off the seasonal depression that so often creeps in this time of year.

Alas, as September concludes and we enter the second quarter of this phenomenon, I encourage you to spend an extra few seconds admiring the way the sunlight splits the branches of the trees. Snap a photo of the artistic manner of which your textbooks were stacked, tilting ever so slightly left with heavy yellowed pages. Breathe deeply, taking in the scent of a morning post-rainshower and how the blades of grass stand lush.

There is beauty in the most mundane moments around us, especially during the ‘ber months. It is merely up to you to acknowledge, savor, and internalize their unique value into your own life.

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  • P

    Preston MeredithOct 4, 2023 at 11:34 am

    Very well written, a wholeheartedly good read throughout. I avoided this article for some time due to its title of being mundane, but I am truly glad I decided to read this salute to the joys and warmth of life simpler moments. I look forward to your next article.

    • H

      Hanna GrassOct 4, 2023 at 11:42 am

      Thank you dearly! I appreciate the positive feedback and honestly regarding you hesitation around the title. This has been noted!

  • R

    RiverSep 27, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Honestly, one of the best articles I’ve read on fall. It was very pretty, and you described the atmosphere so well.

    • H

      Hanna GrassOct 4, 2023 at 11:44 am

      This is such a high compliment, River. I am so glad my words could resonate with you and bring you a moment of joy throughout your day.

  • P

    Parker LallySep 21, 2023 at 11:25 am

    you never fail to impress me

    • H

      Hanna GrassOct 4, 2023 at 11:43 am

      Thank you Parker! You are such a valuable asset to our staff and I adore reading your work as well.