Ah … the smell of fall. The brisk wind pulls at the few remaining leaves pulling them from their branches. The yellows, the greens, the oranges and reds all drifting through the air all at once then gently floating to the ground.
Yes, it’s that time again where white frost covers the morning landscape. The sun will soon remove it and I will walk through my yard enjoying the sound of crunching leaves.
This is the last big segment of colors from our trees until next spring. The branches will be skeletons of what they once were only a few weeks ago. The winter wind, the ice and snow would break the trees apart if the leaves were still on them so this wonder of fall serves a very useful purpose, to protect and preserve the trees so that they may bloom again next spring.
I know that we also obey the natural laws of fall, winter, spring and summer even though we really don’t notice it in ourselves. We now can control the climate inside our home so what happens outside is a mere inconvenience unless we have to travel through the snow and ice of winter roads. Now retired, I try to stay home during the worst of times. Well, I guess since I was self-employed and the business was mainly centered on our home property, I had the luxury to stay home then also.
Bad weather did dictate my real schedule for many, many years. In the summer when my family was young, I headed for my sailboat every opportunity I had. A bout with melanoma cancer took away from my days in the sun. Sometimes you have to give a little to live a little more.
So here I am kicking my way through the leaves and listening to them answer back with their crackles and swishing sounds. I didn’t get to paint fall as much as I wanted but it isn’t over yet. When I turned 70 I painted a series of paintings. Last year I didn’t. This year when I turned 72 last week, was also a nonproductive painting day. I didn’t feel like painting on my 70th, but I did, and the reward was some beautiful abstract paintings which I really like.
We never know what to expect out of life but you need to be willing to accept what comes. Once it’s here, you can’t change it. It’s now part of our past so I try to live in the present as much as I can. I think about the future but I don’t dwell on it. I am here today, that’s what I have and I plan on making good use of it every minute.
The leaves are part of this day and I will enjoy them. Soon the snow will cover them but that’s another day, not today.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at 740-852-4906 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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