Saturday, September 17, 2011

Autumnal Passages

Norfolk Bench in Fall
Norfolk, CT

How beautifully leaves grow old.
How full of light and color are their last days.  
John Burroughs

It's been raining in Texas and it's given us a respite from the heat and drought. Rain always makes me slow down, reflect, and causes me to be more introspective. The contrast rain brings is more than welcome. Not all change is bad.

We are at the preface of natural change, autumn. Autumn always brings me back to my New England roots. There are so many pleasant memories I cherish that orbit and surround this season. Most of those memories were spent in my childhood.

Autumn colors awaken my spirit and imagination like no other season. The promise of autumn fills me with the excitement like the promise of a new school year, friends, and play. I distinctly remember that the thought of raking leaves always paled to the dreams of jumping in them with friends. As I recall, the leaves we bathed in had their own sweet fragrance of a natural decay. It took me little time to forget the toil of leaf raking.

I think of the colorful maples, as if painted by artistic design, on the foothills of the Berkshires where my hometown of Winsted, CT was nestled. Northwest of Hartford and Southeast of Albany, it was a town that was simply along the journey's way. The memories of that particular stop on my journey still remain etched in my mind that even today the advance of autumn conjures again.

Today, I think about a tree, a chestnut tree, ladened with nuts that only a precocious child would think to turn them into playful missiles to be hurled at each other. It was at the end of Prospect Street near the historic Solomon Rockwell house right before you crossed Lake Street (which eventually forked and led to Boyd) and hit Meadow Street. It all comes back to me as if it was only yesterday.

Each school walk to both elementary and high school, I remember well; painted indelibly on canvasses of my mind. Autumn foreshadows change, but autumnal change is not bad. I recall back then embracing change and loving the bouquet of colors, smells, and scenery it brought. Now in my autumn, in my season of mid-life discovery, I welcome changes that autumn brings and seek to make new memories once again.

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