A Nostalgic Memory Of The Days Of Autumn
|Today is October first. As I sit in my chair by the window watching the squirrels chase each other around the tree, I feel nostalgic remembering many Autumn's past.
When I think of Autumn, I think of family. The seasons come and go; likewise so each of us have our time. My mind drifts back, remembering.
I was very young, perhaps seven or eight. It was early on Saturday morning and our family was having breakfast together as we always did on weekends. It was a time to be together, to voice our opinions, tell everyone what was on our mind and just relax. Dad made the announcement that today we were all going to pitch in and get the yard raked. Most of the leaves had already fallen but there were still a few floating past the window in glorious colors of orange, brown and gold. Of course there were a few grumbles from us children, but truth be known, we all enjoyed our annual raking get together.
Out we went to the garage where a rake was waiting for each of us. My sister Sarah and I, the two youngest, worked on a pile together. John and Ben, my older brothers, and Dad made the biggest piles and Mom did her fair share. Sometimes we would get tired, throw our rakes down and run in circles, finally jumping on top of our pile. Leaves flew everywhere and our clothes and hair were covered with them. We didn't care, to us it was funny. Dad, wanting to get the job done, shouted out, “Let's get these all in a line and then we can get the tractor and cart out and go down to the pumpkin patch.”
I jerked in my chair, startled awake from the half asleep state I had been in. I thought about Sarah, so far away now that I only saw her at Christmas. John had died in a car accident when he lost control of his car in the winter, almost ten years ago now. Ben lived just down the road but was only a shell of himself since his wife had passed away last year. He came down for supper a couple of times each week but never had too much to say. We would sit in silence on the porch, each lost in thought, both enjoying the crisp fall air.
I smiled to myself thinking about those days in the pumpkin patch. Excitement built up as soon as we heard the rumble of the tractor starting up in the shed. Down the road it came, Dad driving, Ben and John standing in the back of the cart. It rolled to a stop and we jumped in, picked a bale of straw to sit on, and we were off; all bragging about getting the biggest pumpkin and making a scarier jack o lantern than everyone else. Mom was concerned that she get the best ones for pumpkin pie and I could already taste her delicious creamy pie with just a drop of whipped cream on the top; the spicy smell of it baking making one drool. Just thinking about Mom's cooking made me miss her even now. Dad had a heart attack years ago. John and Ben helped with the farmette as long as they could but eventually had families of their own and it was too much to keep up. Sadly, Mom sold the farm and moved into town in an apartment. She learned to enjoy her remaining years, always missing Dad, but making many friends with whom she played cards and bingo, even having pot lucks once in a while. I miss them both but they live on in my memory.
Goodness, I thought, I must have taken a little snooze, it's already getting dark outside. I slowly unwrapped myself from the chair, regained my wobbly balance and walked to the door, then went out on the porch. It was chilly weather this evening, too cold to sit comfortably outside. I thought maybe I'd see if Ben wanted to go to town tomorrow and help me pick out some pumpkins and gourds, maybe even a couple of corn stalks so that I could decorate a little for Halloween. It was a far cry from the days of heading out to the pumpkin patch but it helped me keep up a tradition. I wasn't fortunate to have a family of my own; I hoped that my nieces and nephews were carrying on.
I heard a little screech and thought it must be a cat out there showing everyone who was boss. The fog was moving in, it was going to be a damp night. I closed the door and went to the kitchen to make a little snack before I retired for the night. Sitting at the kitchen table looking out the window I could see the clouds passing over the moon and one could easily imagine that they were goblins or ghouls out practicing, getting ready for their Halloween pranks. There was no need for me to buy Halloween candy, no one came out this way any more.
So many things had changed, so much time had passed. I smiled to myself and thought, some things never change. Autumn never changes, she still appears each year like a queen in dazzling brilliance. Her wind still smells fresher than any other. Her skies shine brighter. She brings her colorful orange and yellow harvests to completion and makes ready for the dark days of winter. She leaves with the promise of return again next year.”
And so, like Autumn, we too will leave someday, and perhaps return as the sound of wind, a drop of rain, a cloud passing by or maybe even the biggest pumpkin in the patch.