Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn Joy

The following piece from A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges is one of my all-time favorites.  The memory of the smiles on my grandbabies' faces, the glowing tree we played beneath, the warm sun and the crisp air alternating dominance.  Mmm.  Yes, I do like autumn.  


Autumn Joy
September 2009

he change of seasons is one of those things that catch writers by surprise. We always notice it and it always is new to our senses.
            I noticed autumn the other day. I was taking a walk with my grandbabies in the sunshine. Anna was properly holding to the side of the stroller which contained her two brothers. We were chatting about motorcycles and trucks as they passed us by. A luscious, Saturday stroll casually going from here to there when all of a sudden we were confronted by a carpet of golden sunshine.
            Of course, I am a grandmother so I do my best to maintain proper decorum at all times as is becoming a lady of my age. (You can laugh out loud here. That’s allowable.)  So, when I saw the leaves I did what any Bapka of my stature would do. I stopped. Pointed. Shouted!  “How fun is that!” 
            Well, those well-behaved grandchildren of mine didn’t know what I was talking about. They looked up to see if it was a bird or a cloud or a star. All of which I have been known to call to their attention. They looked down the street to see if a car or horse or being of distinction were coming toward us. Then they looked at me in confusion as if to say, “what now?”

            I smiled coyly and stooped to pick up a HUGE ARMFUL of golden drops of sunshine. Laughing as I did so, I threw them like snowflakes over the three astonished children.
            “Let me out of here!”  Mavrik shouted with joy as he pushed his way out of the stroller. He is always the first one to guess Bapka’s games. (It started with blocks and Godzilla, but that’s another story.)  
            Anna squealed and joined the melee. Before long, a storm of golden maple leaves clouded the air and almost covered Arthur whose giggle could be heard above the noise.
            We played as long as we wanted then we went on.
            Funny how we never found quite another likely pile of leaves to play in. There were other piles of fallen leaves, but not quite the same. Not as soft or bright or tantalizing.
            Autumn is not my favorite time of year. There are many shadows that pull at my heart in autumn.
            And yet . . . who can resist the smiles that overwhelm the shadows?  I visited New York first in autumn. My sister and I bridged many, many years on those October walks in the City. First days of school, of course, are part of autumn. Teaching and learning are two of my favorite things. St. Catherine University is a splendid place in autumn.
            Autumn is also the time of year when God gave us Arthur back.
            Autumn. Smiles. Golden drops of promise. Yes. I do rather like autumn after all.


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