Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Into the Leaves of Memory


Along the road home

Fall and falling leaves bring so many memories:

  • shuffling through dry leaves that covered sidewalks as I walked to school
  • raking huge piles of leaves and then jumping into them until they were reduced to mulch
  • or raking the leaves into "rooms" to make a playhouse that provided hours of entertainment
  • wandering through the yard collecting pretty colored leaves to dip into wax and put onto a straw wreath for a door decoration
  • putting red and yellow leaves between two sheets of wax paper and ironing the paper to preserve the color for a least a little while
  • gathering acorns for my mother, who carefully put them into pretty dishes
  • looking for wooly worms and predicting the weather by their stripes
  • blowing milkweed seeds out of their pods, then bringing the pods inside to make decorations
  • looking for ripe persimmons
  • searching roadsides for the orange bittersweet berries
  • finding my knee socks and cardigan sweaters
  • watching shadows stretch across the yards as dusk returned
  • gathering clothes from the clothesline in near-darkness as autumns' winds blustered
I am sure I can think of more to add to the list. But what about you? What memories do the falling leaves trigger for you?


Further along the road, and closer to home

7 comments:

warren said...

It is so beautiful up our road! I love the colors of the leaves! Cool memories too...

JJM said...

I looked at your photo and expected some wonderful little "they remind me of raking up the leaves with my parents so we could burn them in the back yard" sort of memory to pop up in my mind. Instead ...

I was visiting my relatives in the Netherlands that October. Now, my grandmother was the sort of person who was interested in everything, and she often went on bus tours to sites of historical, natural, or cultural interest, at home or abroad. Day-trips, mostly, but also longer ones. This time, she wanted to treat me to a day-trip to see the glorious fall foliage, all golden yellow, in the Netherlands.

Oh, no, no, said my two aunts, don't be silly, where Mario lives they've got much more beautiful fall leaves, with red and orange as well as yellow. Ah, nodded my grandmother, in that disappointed but not wanting to show it sort of tone. Go, my aunts said, to that magnificent exhibition of early van Gogh art they're giving in his home town, that's something you'll never have a chance to see again.

But ... the whole purpose of the trip, I protested, was to spend a day with my grandmother, and I was perfectly happy to see the golden leaves, they'd be beautiful, I'd love it, too. The aunts prevailed, however, in that way that grown children have with their aged parents (and their younger kinfolk!) sometimes. And we did enjoy ourselves, my grandmother and I. She assured me on the ride back home that this exhibit was much better than some leaves, and maybe she could go see them later, or the next year, there were always bus tours to view them.

All these years later, though, every time the foliage turns, I think: why wasn't I more forceful in my arguments? I'm certain my aunts were thinking of what *I* would want to do, coming from the U.S. and having but limited time, but my grandmother had her heart set on golden leaves ... and all I really wanted was a day with her.

Nance said...

i love your pics but the very last one . . . it just takes me home. It is lovely. I love that lane.

Marie (once The Tile Lady) said...

My fall leaf memories were really stirred by your own. I think as a child the wonder if it all as the leaves magically turn a dozen jewel colors is what captures the heart. And you remember that joy every autumn for the rest of your life. What a great post!

Granny Sue said...

Warren, I love it that you say our road. :) It's a right blustery day today but beautiful it its wild way. I never get tired of looking at this hill.

Granny Sue said...

Mario thank you for the poignant memory. Time with your grandmother, a special time indeed.

Robin (Simons) Sturgill said...

Love this picture. Is it when you pass Mt. Hope? If so, somewhere on the right I carved my name into a tree while living with Belva and Dan Simons when we were out getting wood. Wonderful memories.

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