Carolyn's World

A Season of Memories
Carolyn Aspenson

Its fall. That time of year when the leaves turn beautiful, rich colors. Deep red, golden yellow, burnt orange. As I walk my dog I can almost feel the essence of the season surround me. The sounds engulf my senses. The busyness of desperate squirrels scattering crisp leaves in search of fallen nuts to hoard for the inevitable bitter cold of winter. The echoing whoosh of hundreds of Black bird wings scooping into a unison flight, their goal a southern state caressed with hot winter sun. Cool breezes whisping crisp and colorful leaves off their branches to float slowly and effortlessly to the ground. The scent of early evening fires, warm and smoky with a hint of leaves and mulch. A scent Id bottle and spray throughout my house all year long, if possible.

I love Fall. Each October Im reminded there is a God - some higher power pulling the strings of life here on earth, dropping hints of miracles for each of us to grasp within our finger tips, mesmerizing and pleasuring our senses. Chilly mornings with beautiful yellow and orange fluffy clouds and a big, glowing orange sun so close I can almost touch it with my fingertips as it rises in the sky. The man in the moon across the clouds, dipping slowly into his slumber, still hanging around until hes positive the sun will rise again.

These are the days of which memories are made. Walks with my kids, wearing pullover sweaters fresh with the scent of pine from their months of slumber in delicate storage boxes, picking up leaves, searching for just the perfect leaf to give to Grandma. Discoveries of new and amazing little bugs rushing across the sidewalk, preparing for winter and dancing around our hiking boots with the elegance of a ballerina. Pinecones and acorns abound fill the trails and paths and bags we carry to house our finds from nature. At home we glue our gatherings onto paper in just the perfect shape, showing Grandma the beautiful and amazing art nature can create.

We laugh at the squirrels flirting and fighting, playing tag in our backyard. I imagine what they squeak to each other while hopping back and forth from tree branch to tree branch. Theirs is a world foreign to me, just as mine is to them. My son and I gather nuts and sneak some M&Ms into the mix and spread it out for the squirrels to snatch up when they think were not looking. We laugh at their subtle coyness and expertise at the game of grab and run.

The season is precious, a gift were given each and every year. Some see it as a relief from the treacherous heat of summer, others, the calm before the storm of cold, intense winters. I see Fall as a big playground where each and every sense is enticed, teased, aroused and fulfilled with the most erotic gifts known to man. Crisp, cool nights with a cloudless sky bursting with stars, lighting up my windows while the crickets serenade me to slumber. Dark mornings slowly awakening me, gently nudging me to start my day. A carnival of colors bringing warmth and a sense of home to my family.

I cherish the season for the time I have with my children but also for the memories I have of my childhood. Memories of long, lazy walks with my father, kicking leaves across the sidewalk, listening to his sweetened stories about family long gone and his times as a child. Saturday mornings spent raking leaves into mountainous piles just to jump in them and then start raking all over again. Evenings outside with my dad, watching the leaves and sticks smolder in a smoky fire, engulfing the scent in my lungs hoping to hold onto it forever. Playing kick the can and hiding in a blanket of leaves, hoping no slugs attached themselves to my tender skin and trying not to giggle when the other kids went searching.

Fall is the most wondrous time for children. The smells, sights and sounds bring together warmth and family, friends and good times, happiness and long nights with bonfires and stories and memories in the making. Its also a time of miracles for parents. Miracles reliving our past through our children. Watching our kids make monstrous piles of leaves and jumping in them with the excitement of days gone by. That familiar expression when a hint of burning leaves envelopes their senses. Their small hands carrying more leaves to the smoldering fire, all excited at the crackling and popping sounds. Cherishing the late nights under black skies light up by millions of stars. Discovering the big dipper and its buddy, the little dipper.

Fall is the season for making memories and reliving our memories from another perspective.




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