The sky blue sky is dotted with cotton balls: the air, crisp as McIntosh apples. Maple, oak and sumac fight for supremacy in an all-out color war to the death.
I’ve got an important meeting this afternoon, one I can’t miss.
On the drive over from my office, I pass a huge pile of leaves. The senior homeowner pauses for a well-earned rest in his Sisyphean battle with the intruders trying to take his lawn. Soon their comrades will parachute in for a new assault. For a brief moment, however, he has won. He goes in search of bags and bags and bags to confine his prisoners.
The pile beckons: so high, so tempting. It is a mountain of fall memories in a field of emerald grass.
Then I’m pulling over to the curb, barely remembering to put the car in park. Running from the car, briefcase in hand I execute a leap the likes of which the Flying Wallendas would envy. Arms wide spread, legs out, papers flying as I soar.
Suspended for just a brief eternity and then I’m landing soft. I’m sinking, floating, held aloft by the gold, green, red and brown feathers of this autumnal bed.
The leaves are scattered all over Mr. Green’s lawn, and I know I’m gonna get in trouble. You KNOW he’ll tell Mom. He always does. But I don’t care, the old grouch.
“C’mon, Peggy!” I hear Billy call, his voice muffled by the rusty red and yellow blanket. By more than 40 years of leaves. “My turn!”
“Yeah,” Terry yells “My turn after Billy. Rake ‘em up high again!”
No! I burrow down deeper into the crunchy, slightly musty kaleidoscope. It’s still MY turn. I won’t surrender my place, this place, this moment out of time.
The remnants of my bright, blond head atop the leaves fade like wisps of smoke from my mind’s rear view mirror as I drive by. The pristine pile is still raked into submission and waiting for the bags, the bags to take all that gold to the dump.
I can’t be late for my meeting. I turn the corner.