Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Drivel - No Autumn Leaves

Every time fall comes around, I muse over what I miss from my old life on the mainland. I've heard some people say, "Nothing." And I've seen that others miss an awful lot and thus eventually move back. I'm somewhere in between. Full of some fond memories which trigger longings, but none strong enough to make me want to go back to that lifestyle. 

The memories of autumn in the Delaware Valley are still strong in me. The smell of fall leaves. The sensation of walking down wood paths with vibrantly colored trees overhead. The sound of walking through fallen leaves. As a child we would rake together leaves into giant piles then proceed to jump and roll in them with childish delight. Secretly I did that as an adult too! I'd rake up or gather leaves for my little garden then jump through it like a kid before running the lawnmower over the pile to grind up the leaves. Of course I'd give a quick look around to make sure no one could see me frolic in the leaves. Back then I was sensitive about what someone else would think about me. Nowadays I wouldn't care if everyone watched and snickered - or frowned. If they were critical of an old woman playing in the leaf pile, well that's their problem not mine. 
You won't find this scene in Hawaii. We just don't get the colorful fall leaves falling off the trees.

I miss the smell of those first killing frosts. Yes, smell. The outside smelled different to me after a frost. A killing frost changed the outside world around me....one day fresh and alive, the next day wilted and dying. Once frost hit and leaves dropped, the lighting seemed different. The shadows seemed different. The air felt and smelled crisper. Sounds travelled further and sounded most distinct. 

Here in Hawaii, fall brings some changes but not as drastic as on the mainland. And nowadays, that's fine by me. No more unpacking the winter clothes, trying them on to see if they still fit. Digging out gloves, hats, scarves, heavy jackets. Closing up the house for winter, taking down screens and putting up storm windows. Nope. Living here now, the most I do with the house during the fall and winter is close the windows at night. Come to think if it, I've never closed the bathroom window since we've moved here, I wonder if it's corroded in place? 

I think it's the fall leaves that I miss the most. And the arrival of the winter birds to the feeders. And while I fondly recall walks in the snow, I don't miss then enough to want to move. 

I'll let you into a little personal secret ..........I have a small bag with some dried autumn leaves from back East. It was sent to me by a special friend. I bring out that bag every autumn and smell the leaves! 

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