Not really summer, but not autumn either

No wonder September is confused. It’s all mixed up.

According to my high school Latin class, “September” comes from the root word “septem,” which translates to “seven.” That made sense under the old 10-month Roman calendar, when September was the seventh month.

Then some pesky calendar reformers — Julian and Gregorian — jammed January and February into the top of the year.

That pushed September (seven) to the ninth month, so logic dictated that it be renamed November. “Novem” means “nine.” But that name was already taken by the month wedged between the now-10th month, October (“octo”“eight”) and 12th month, December (“decem”“ten”). November hired an excellent intellectual property lawyer, retained the rights to its name, and September was stuck at “nine” while meaning “seven,” coming just before a 10th month named for “eight.”

Got that?

No wonder September — not quite summer, not quite fall — is full of mood swings. Temperatures roam from shorts to sweatshirts, but never quite settle on a theme. Lawns beg both for grass to be mowed and leaves to be raked. The last beach cookout weekend of summer drifts into the fall coziness of apple cider and fireplaces.

When September thoughts bounce around like bumper cars in the brain, you end up with insights like these:

l “In many ways, September feels like the busiest time of the year: The kids go back to school, work piles up after the summer’s dog day and Thanksgiving is suddenly upon us.” — Brene Brown

l “Ba de ya — say do you remember / Ba de ya — dancing in September / Ba de ya — never was a cloudy day.” — Earth, Wind & Fire (Maurice White, Al McKay, Allee Willis)

l “We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.” — Henry Rollins

l “My favorite poem is the one that starts ‘Thirty days hath September’ because it actually tells you something.” — Groucho Marx

l “By all these lovely tokens, September days are here, with summer’s best of weather, and autumn’s best of cheer.” — Helen Hunt Jackson

l “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” — Oscar Wilde

l “September morn / We danced until the night / Became a brand new day / Two lovers playing scenes / From some romantic play / September morning / Still can make me feel that way.” — Neil Diamond

l “Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul.” — Peggy Tooney Horton

l “Hello, September. The winds of change really can be beautiful!” — Princess Sassy Pants and Co.

l “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” — Albert Camus

l See you in September / See you when the summer’s through … Will I see you in September / Or lose you to a summer love?” — The Happenings (Sid Wayne, Sherman Edwards)

l “Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” — Elizabeth Lawrence

l “I am such an autumn person. Give me a quiet, cozy spot with a simple view of gorgeous trees with colorful leaves on a crisp September day, fuzzy socks, a warm drink, and a good book and I will be in all my glory.” — McKenna Kaelin