Septembers became synonymous with celebration when my first perfectly round-headed child introduced herself and my Mom finally found Papa John, a man worthy of her, adored by us. Sharing a birthday, Round-Head and Papa John also share a bond, forged in hours of teasing, whining, love, and mutual admiration. When we celebrate it is still warm, usually sunny, and the last party before the snow flies. We laugh, still tease, sing Happy Birthday off-key, and feast. Papa John will eat pie and Round-Head will eat chocolate cake and some of us will indulge in both. These are the times we like to remember, the good times we will fall back on when we need a boost.
Another celebration of sorts is ArtPrize 2015, an international art contest held in September with over 1,500 entries at 162 venues centered around Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize offers accessibility with dozens of outdoor pieces, free venues and a unique voting process open to all attendees. The ArtPrize experience stretches my creativity, a story in each sculpture, song, film, projection, painting, and photograph. Other’s interpretations and feelings evoked by ArtPrize entries are part of the enjoyment, even the sarcastic ones. Inevitably, ArtPrize resonates with talk about what constitutes art and the varying messages each piece conveys.
Creativity spawned during ArtPrize will soon be put to good use as I put my garden to bed and spend more time indoors writing. October gardening intentions wither on cold damp days and by then the Sugar Maple’s bright leaves carpet the yard, begging to be piled and hauled away. Anything still standing in my garden after September lends interest and reminds me that there is a garden waiting for me underneath the snow. It’s all about perspective.
Michigan Apple Fest is the final village festival of the season, celebrating the local harvest of not only apples, but corn,melons, peaches, plums, pears, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, potatoes, garlic, onions and a few others I may have forgotten. It is a land of plenty. Street vendors, antique tractors, cider, baked goods, a couch race, live music, craft beer and a ton of food lend to the party. It is a time of thanksgiving, as well as a last “Hoorah!” for our community. The morning air is cooler, the evening light is softer, and summer is at an end.