Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Pond and Autumn Leaves
Near Winchester Center, CT

Weathered Home
Bennington, VT
It seems like the six days I spent in New England and the Catskills was simply not enough to take it all in.  The natural splendor is a cacophony against the old and run down mill towns past their prime.  Autumn in New England is not about the old and what was;  its about the promise of the harvest.  It marks the end of the farming season and the beginning of the harvest.   Colors punctuate the event.

Pumpkin Harvest
Granby, CT
As I walked through pumpkin patches, drove through back roads, and hiked trails from Connecticut to the Catskills of New York, I thought about the harvest in the autumn of my life.  It seems that along the journey, I've sown seeds of friendship unbeknownst to me.  While the colors of autumn overwhelmed my senses, the harvest of friendship filled my basket full.

I met with classmates and teachers that I had not seen in some cases for thirty six years:  A baseball coach who looked the same:  fit, smiling and wise; girls, now women, who always offered me their friendship and smiles and laughter, an assistant high school principal and former teammate,  and a next door neighbor,  practically my sister, who taught me to  enjoy pets even though I am allergic to them.

Leaf peeping was interspersed with the harvesting of friends and memories.  I had forgotten them but they had never forgotten me.   For one moment, as we met and recanted old stories, it was as if I had never left.  We were part of each others lives growing up.  They always had smiles for me even though we didn't have much at times to smile about.  I left back then knowing that I wished them all well, but I knew that I had to leave.   What was best for me couldn't be found in the town were revolutionary patriots and their families were  interred in family plots.  I simply did not fit in.

The harvest brought me back full circle to New England.  It was not simply the foliage.  The seeds of friendship planted so many years ago now offered me their bounty.  Familiar faces a little worn from time and personal trials greeted me in my autumn.  Yet behind every autumn, there's the chill of winter, and the promise of spring, summer and another harvest.

It occurs to me that there are many more seeds that I could plant along this journey.  Remembering to harvest is equally as important as the planting.  


  1. Well written. At first I had visions of a SciFi event with aliens harvesting people, but that wasn't where you went.

    I like the perspective that we plant seeds along the way. Everything we do touches all. A good harvest requires that we nurture the crop. You can't let them whither and die away. The good thing is that true and real friends are always there ... you just have to remember.

    Sounds like you had a delightful joruney Al.

  2. You have to know where you came from so you figure out where you are headed.

  3. I knew I had to leave too, but still find comfort in some of those old friendships in that little town and always have a bit of my heart in New England.


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