Walking through a carpet of crisp coloured leaves, my mind returns to childhood and other leaves.
Autumn was a wonderful time to be a child when I was growing up. We children would pull out the rakes and begin to gather the leaves together into a huge mound and then jump into the leaves. The smell of the earth seemed to be all around us, the crackling and swishing sound of the leaves excited us as we pretended to swim in an ocean of leaves. Afterwards the leaves would have to be gathered up again into another hill of colour.
We could pass hours like this but finally Dad came out reminding us that we were making that mound of leaves for a reason. The reason was that we were going to make a bonfire. As the sun began to sink, Dad lit the fire and the leaves went up in a blaze of glory. Once the fire died down, he threw a pail of water onto them and we scattered the wet ash around the lawn. The last ritual of autumn was then about to begin.
Mom had prepared hot chocolate. We sat around the kitchen table as she poured the dark sweet liquid over a snow-white marshmallow, put the cup onto a plate for each of us and added some hot buttered toast. I think no chore was ever enjoyed more than leaf-raking in the autumn.
a carpet of leaves
the smell of earth abounds
© G.s.k. ‘15