I wrote this last fall and have finally had a chance to publish it.
I have been feeling a little nostalgic, lately. Fall always brings back those childhood memories. The clear skies, fresh air, short days, football games, leaves falling – there is just something about this time of year.
Yesterday and today I spent a couple of hours just burning leaves. Why is this important? Sometimes connecting with nature and listening to the sounds is therapeutic.
My neighborhood is relatively quiet. We live on a dead-end road with many summer families. The highway isn’t too far away and the sounds from across the lake, today, can be a telltale sign of what is going on. Lawnmowers, power tools, vehicles – these interrupt my silence.
The wind through the trees, the squeaking of the branches, and the few birds that stay year-round are amazing – blue jays, cardinals, seagulls.
The remnants of summer – lawn chairs, a basketball, late-blooming flowers, robins chirping and heading south, boats getting that last trip on the lake.
Time stands still. The smoke rises until the breeze pushes it over. Memorized by the red, orange, and yellow flames. Crackling of leaves giving their last energy to the fire. Ashes to ashes.
Green needles from the cedar lose their moisture and slowly join the leaves. They will meld together and fertilize the earth again.
My hubby and I usually do this together and it takes all day. Today my Dad joined me when I was almost done for the day. As I stood patiently waiting for the clippings and leaves to burn, he said it reminded him of hunting. Standing, watching, listening, waiting. Waiting for that one opportunity to shoot.
I went hunting once. During my senior year of high school, I was 18. It was one of the most peaceful experiences I have ever had. Alone in the woods, trees dropping their cover, animals scurrying for scraps of whatever they were looking for, silence. The season begins, protecting the earth until it renews in the spring.
Fall is one of the most magical times of the year for me. The nostalgia, the smells of the upturned earth, the coming of winter, changes. Changes that take place under the leaves and snow and sometimes inside of us.