Before Autumn Falls

A brisk, fall day, most leaves still on the trees, but the chill in the air foretells what will happen soon, maybe even tomorrow.

Here in northeastern Oklahoma, fall is in full swing. The oak-pecan-walnut-hackberry-red bud trees have not yet dropped their colorful leaves; the ashes and mulberries have.

The sun catches the yellow-orange-red-caramel leaves in the morning and late afternoon hours, turning the world into a mysterious autumn kaleidoscope as colors shift in the chilly breezes.

These afternoons bring such fond memories of my childhood, playing outside in my neighborhood, riding bikes or pretend horses, climbing trees, singing, running, chasing. I remember the smells of autumn and the way my hands and face would tingle with the cold. Eventually, about the time the sun went down, I would head home to warm up and set the table for dinner.

Memories of smells are particularly poignant for me: a fire in the fireplace, a beefy stew simmering on the stove, chrysanthemums in full bloom in everyone’s flowerbeds, the dusty scent of sycamore balls dropping from the huge, leafy trees. The scents – and images – are endless. Fall was a door slowly opening into the shadow times of winter, the darkest and most mysterious time of the year.

Autumn nostalgia is comforting. It provides food for my imagination as I write. However, I am also reminded of another important fact. Now is all we really have. It is our only opportunity to DO something, to step out, to make a change, to make a difference.

This moment is here for a very short while. Enjoy and cherish it.

Tomorrow, today will be just another memory. Cherish these last moments of autumn.

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