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It is beyond trite if I begin today’s post by saying, “pasamos agosto.”

This is what Chileans will say time and time again today, tomorrow and probably for the next week. It is what a bunch of galpals and I will say tonight at the restaurant we coordinated to meet at a full two weeks ago. It’s a celebration of sorts, the worst of the winter is over. Today marks the unofficial beginning of spring, and the month in which the much-celebrated national holiday falls.

But instead of saying “pasamos agosto,” I’d like to say bienveefinido septiembre.

Welcome September with all of your red-white-and-blue bunting on the buildings in the Plaza de Armas and the sausage and greda (terracotta dish) displays in the supermarkets with promotoras wearing the urban huasa outfit, complete with long skirt and giant brimmed chupalla hat.

And I will even give a grand welcome to the season of the cueca, or national dance, which is accompanied by a music I think you had to have grown up with to truly love. It’s whiny and clappy and it makes people move, so that’s good, but the sound will be forever lost on me, and I still don’t know how to dance it.

Welcome September with important birthdays, such as my sister’s my fabulous niece‘s, good friends near and far. Welcome artichokes, and fresh greens and the custardy cherimoya and dropping prices at the market and tomatoes that taste like summer and go very well on toast with cream cheese and seasalt and maybe a little pepper.

Welcome warmer days and quick-dry laundry and nights when you don’t need your guatero (con or sin uñas) to stay warm.

And then, apropos of nothing, other than the fact that a friend of mine and I were recently on the beach and we saw nary a limpet (correction: chiton) in the tidal pools (but a shocking number of sea stars, and quite alot of sea anenomies, though these were closed like glossy plasticine flans), here is a photo I took in Algarrobo several years ago of the clingy lapa (limpet correction: chiton). Bonus Chilenismo lesson: “se me pegó como lapa” means he stuck to me like a chiton.

Strange little creatures. I’ll bet they’re glad it’s September, too.