“Memories have ways of becoming independent of the reality they evoke. They can soften us against those we were deeply hurt by or they can make us resent those we once accepted and loved unconditionally.” (Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi, pp. 311)
The scent of September air is tinged with nostalgia. Something about the crispness of the wind, the falling leaves, the way the light falls golden, awakens the memory. A familiar sense of longing and anticipation sends me back to moments from days gone by. Making new friends at recess. Going to church bonfires and playing tag in the fading light. Sitting beside a creek watching yellow leaves float down the water.
And as Nafisi writes, memories have a way of taking on their own hue. A new sweetness or bitterness that wasn’t there in the moment. Perhaps the mix of sweet scents and bitter spices of the autumn stirs up the memories that take on those flavors.
It only seems fitting, then, that the September reading prompt for our Book-a-Month challenge is to read about memories. Find something that reminds you of the past, or something that lets you relive an old experience, or a memoir exploring someone else’s memories.
To put us in the mood for nostalgic reads, here’s a poem on September: