As the weather changes from my shirt sticking to my back kind of heat into a pattern of cool and crisp, I feel a longing. Not a longing for more summer, more fireflies, or even more daylight. My want is for a specific time in a very specific place. The desire is to return “home” and for the way to be marked by a canopy of bright leaves that are teasing me with their color. This magical place in my memory is only two and half hours away but feels more like a trip around the globe. However, the season I love and miss is here. It crept in while we were sleeping, while spiders built a home between the fern leaves on my porch that are starting to turn brown. Fall came around just like it does every year.
But I am not quite ready. I still need time to prepare my heart for the lonesome feeling that creeps in despite my attempt to keep it away a bit longer. I still need time to accept that I’m 37, not 10, and there will be no riding my bike down a gravel driveway without a care in the world. I can no longer trick or treat at my Granny’s house and stuff myself with homemade popcorn balls. I can’t play in the mountains behind my house and watch their shadows slowly cover our yard, then the house, and finally blend into the coal black night. I can’t go with my dad to find corn stalks for the foddershock that our dog will inevitably rip apart and spread all over creation.
I can’t recreate the seasons of my childhood and most importantly, I cannot bring back the people who are no longer here that made those seasons so special. But I can start appreciating the look on my daughter’s faces when their dad creates yet another amazing pumpkin carving. I can play outside and see the wonder that is a child jumping in leaves that are more like a coverlet rather than the pile they set out to collect. I can use my memories for joy instead of pain. I will stop thinking of the things I no longer have during the Fall and embrace all that I DO have. I will start changing my attitude just like the turn of the seasons, welcoming the new and knowing the old will always be in my memory and my heart.