Monday, October 20, 2008


It’s autumn here in New England.

There’s a tree nearby the lot where I park at my workplace. It stands in a backyard below the street, a rusty railing guarding its trunk, unable to prevent the branches from hanging half over the sidewalk above. It is beautiful, this tree, all scarlet and rose against the blue sky. As I walk up the street to the office building, my feet walk on a carpet of faded pinks and reds, a floor fit for a king or queen – and yet, instead of sedate and queenly, I want to kick the rustling leaves high into the air.

It’s autumn.

The hills surrounding my valley home are a mixture of mottled browns and greens, scarlet and orange and yellow…I can see the church steeple from the front step of my workplace, a sandy colored bell tower framed by fall colors.

Our neighbor has already started using their wood stove, sending a distinctly autumny smell into the air. It’s apple picking season: homemade apple crumb pie and fresh-pressed apple cider. I always want to buy school supplies at this time of the year. New pens and pencils and fresh, clean notebooks. Binders. Markers.

It’s a half melancholy, half happy time of the year for me. The ending of so much is near, yet the beginning of so much, too. End of warm weather, sunshine and crickets. Beginning of knowledge and words and adventure.

It’s a warm feeling today and a shivery one tomorrow. Fog in the mornings, shrouding those colorful hills. Sweaters and brown shoes, breath in the air. The crunch of my teeth against crisp apples.

School has begun again, not for me, but for brothers and sisters. Reading lessons and trouble with algebra are once again added to the cacophony of daily life. And my sister is playing a song from a movie soundtrack on the piano. “Under the Umbrella” from Little Women.

I listen.

It sounds like autumn.

It sounds like home.


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