Green gives way to other hues, and suddenly the sunny early mornings become cloudier; but not unpleasant, for there's a crispness and sharpness to the air that makes me feel alive. Things have quickened. Somehow, summer seems slow, lazy, and calm... Autumnfall appears to me to be the opposite.
Dewdrops of faerie rain glistening on the morning grass changes place with frost, glittering stardust of silver and white on the ground. I step out to give the cats their breakfast, and sometimes discard my shoes in favour of walking barefoot across the cold sidewalk and through the frosty grass. I can breathe in deep and the brisk air recharges my still-sleepy senses.
Warmth appears in the form of soft blankets, creamy hot chocolate, and cozy sweaters.I run in the forest and soothe my aching lungs with smooth chocolate-hazelnut tea upon my return. The spicy aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves fill the house as the cookies bake in the oven.
Mother's Christmas songs are already playing now, and I can hear Bing Crosby in the background as I lie down, awake and dreaming. "Where the treetops glisten... and children listen... to hear sleigh bells in the snow..."
Lying down in the still-green grass to watch the clouds drift smoothly past. The sunlight flickers across my face and a cool breeze ruffles the clover. A ruby-red rose nearby is slowly losing her petals, reminiscent of a legend about a beauty and her beast.
The trees whisper stories to each other, as leaves dappled in brown and yellow and orange fall down around me. And if I close my eyes and keep my mind wide open, I can see dragons soaring among the clouds and faeries darting around the leaves tumbling through the air...
Autumnfall brings dreams. Oh so wondrous dreams.
Dreams of magic, dreams of mystery, dreams of the future, dreams of adventure and life and love.
But Autumnfall brings other things too; things that, while not tangible now, were so very real many seasons ago.
Dusk falls sooner as days march on, and I find myself sitting on the front step, watching the sun set and longing for the days when I would take the lightsaber out of the closet and duel the neighbours and my brother in the dark. The days when we could laugh and chase each other through the forest, carefree and happy, are gone now, but on Autumnfall evenings like these, I can't help but remember. Not only the times spent with friends, but other times too.
I can remember the smoky-sweet scent of marshmallows burned in the bonfire. My brother never ate them any other way. The bright flames flicker, hissing and snapping, reaching high towards the yellowing trees above. I can remember watching him nibble at the now-black charcoal-covered marshmallow, and laughing because surely he was the only one in the world crazy enough to like burned sweets.
I can remember afternoons when we waited eagerly for the sun to go down, so that we could go run through the dark after supper. My brother had a crooked old lantern he built all on his own - blocks of wood nailed haphazardly together, with a little groove for a candle to sit on the inside. I can remember watching him light five matches to make the candle burn... he never could get the flame to stay bright with just one match. We would go marching down to the forest, two brave warriors on the run from Urgals, or sometimes German soldiers. Bravely we would trek through the forest. And I can remember when the lantern burned out, the sudden surge of fear and our yelling as we bolted back to the house, him gasping out, "I thought I saw a werewolf in the trees." I can remember going wide-eyed, believing him, and running the rest of the way to the house to stand safely beneath the pale yellow lights.
I can remember early snowfalls where the neighbour kids and I would drag the sleds out to slide down the hills again and again, before the inch-deep snow melted. I can remember the hailstorms that would rattle the roof, and the times I would run outside with reckless abandon to race through the pouring hail, just to say I had done it.
I can remember afternoons curled up on the sofa with blankets, chocolate, and stuffed animals, watching Disney films.
I can remember racing through the yard with Sela, my precious, precious Sela. I can remember feeling like together we could take on the world.
I can remember recklessness and courage and joy. (And the fact I can still remember those things lends a sense of hope.)
I can remember family and friends, and Thanksgiving reunions. I can remember games and fun and the bright eyes of a girl so amazed with the world that she could get drunk on just plain living. The world was magic, and I can remember how she wanted to explore every inch of it, how she knew that no matter how much she explored, there would always be those magical corners just out of her reach - the oceans, the stars, the very centre of the earth.
I can remember walking out to the forest to watch the sky alight in a blaze of pinks, golds, oranges, reds, and lavender. I can remember standing there, brown and yellow leaves falling down around me, gazing up in complete awe at how beautiful the neverending expanse was. Wishing I could fly. Just wishing that I could find some way to be up there, in the sky, caught in a storm of colours and stars.
Autumnfall brings many, many beautiful things.
Perhaps memories are the most precious of all of them.