Thursday, October 23, 2008
In an instant time flies back. A walk in the evening hours this time of year can send instant childhood memories tumbling about my head like the leaves that roll across the lawn with the breeze. It's dusk. So many of the leaves have fallen. There is nothing better than to walk in them as they rustle around your feet and you inhale their perfume. It's intoxicating for sure. Above me a V of geese fly overhead, announcing that winter will soon blanket us in white.
Suddenly, I'm 8 again, walking along the blue grey slate sidewalks, as an array of fall colored leaves dance among my feet. The trees take on a spookier look now that they are almost bare. The sky is a very New England overcast making the mountains look cold and steely. It's nearly dark and and surely suppertime. I can smell Grandma cooking pork chops for dinner and the excitement is welling up in my tummy. I can't wait to open my costume box. I've looked at it every day for a couple of weeks now, careful not to break the clear film that covers the mask. Tonight is special and treats await. There is booty to be had and Charlie Brown to watch before bed. This Halloween will be the best, because I just know I will look awesome in my Tweety costume.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It never ceases to amaze me how so much of what captured me in my childhood, still carries with me today. I'm more mindful now, looking at what stays with my girls and impacts them. They have come to realize that their Mom balances the responsibilities of an adult on one hand, spinning a plate while in the other, spins a few other plates that many adults left behind.
The mountains are wearing their best dresses right now and in a couple days so much of it will blow away. I wrap it all around me and rejoice in the smell of the leaves and woodsmoke that curls from chimneys on these crisp mornings. I pull the memories close and smile. I enjoy sharing so much with my daughters. They are both at the Jr/Sr High School at the end of our street... the same school I finished my schooling at when we moved here back in '74.
I showed the girls where my English class was and how we sat their early in the morning listening to Mr. Foley discuss literature. He was old.. ancient even, with kind eyes, a deep voice and an Adam's apple that bobbed furiously as he recited passages so passionately. It was our piece for October that is forever ingrained. It was a foggy morning and you could barely see the orange leaves on the trees across the street from the class room. We opened our books and Mr. Foley began. We listened intently as he read the passage describing Ichabod Crane and suddenly the classroom burst into smiles and giggles.
You see, Mr. Foley was reading a description that could well be his own. He gave us a nod as he looked out of the corner of his eye and held out his hand to hush us. In that instant we knew... yes, the comparison had been made many times before and this was a favorite of his that he embraced and passed on to us with a little visual. I still call those foggy days, Sleepy Hollow Days, as do my girls. Now I pass it on to you.