Thursday, October 18, 2007

Unexpected Joy


It is morning, my feet slide onto cold wooden and stone floors. I move groggly toward the kid's room, where I can hear them giggling and playing together in Soul-Baby's crib. We move toward the living room, the orange fleece blanket drawn around us. We three cuddle in the corner burgundy chair and wait for the warmth to ease into our bones, to still us against the chill.

I put on Ben Harper and fill the tea kettle. Soul-baby pads around the living room rug with his sister's bright pink (lined with feathery, fluffy stuff) princess slippers with a triumphant smile on his face. His bulbous, round belly is pushed out like a pregnant monkey, his shoulders held back making him strut like he's a cool cat gangster. I swoop him up as he thuds by and hug him until he lets go.

The rain pelts our windows from all sides. A wry smiles curves on my lips as I realize the adventurous day before us.

See, my husband is in Vancouver for two days, with the Toyota, volunteering for the Writer's Festival. And on Thursday afternoons, Alley enjoys 3 hours of Preschool at a nearby church. It is especially nearby on a sunny day or when I drive her. But today, 30 minutes in the pouring rain, pushing a stroller, calls for a hearty breakfast and a strong cup of coffee.

I load them up, bundled and wrapped in fleece blankets. I scrounge around for the rain cover and draw it tight over our double jogger. They seem cozy and dry, and Alley is so excited to prance her toy horse for show-in-tell, that I can barely buckle her in.

The air hits us first. It is crisp and tinged with a smokey fireplace smell. Rain runs down my cheeks in refreshing steadiness. I am immediately transported and awakened by the sensual symphony of Autumn. I am suddenly excited. With each step I am reacquainted with an old friend, my favorite season. Every tree is a wooden palette exploding with fiery reds, burnt oranges and vibrant yellows. We crunch through piles of leaves. I hold up a changed Maple leaf for the kids to see. It is nearly a foot wide and high and the deepest shade of yellow. Beautiful.

I gather leaves on the way, take in the sight and smell of puffing chimneys. And settle into this changing season, glad for it's arrival.

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No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.-- John Donne

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. --Albert Camus

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns. --George Eliot

Oh, good gigantic smile of the old earth this autumn morning! --Robert Browning

There is a harmonyIn autumn, and a lustre in its sky,Which through the summer is not heard or seen,As if it could not be, as if it had not been!-- Percy Bysshe Shelley

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.-- Mitchell Burgess

5 comments:

Dawn Durfey said...

From one autumn-lover to another, I thoroughly enjoyed your darling story of the morning and your realization of the season with your kiddos. I, too, have been recognizing the signs of this time of year, though it's very different in the desert, as you well know. Still, the faint chill in the evening and early morning causes me to take the opportunity to wear a robe or cover up with a blanket with gusto! Thank you for the quotes, Kelley - they will happily join my own collection! Enjoy, as will I!

Mari de Andrade said...

Dear Kell, what an enjoyable post!!! Ohhh, the smells of British Columbia!!! How much I miss it!

elizabeth said...

i too love this season too! yea for fall and winter too!

Ralina said...

None of the other seasons come close to touching autumn's beauty! I am in awe over that large maple leaf, how incredible!

L.L. Barkat said...

I was right there with you, steeped in the wonder of the day.

A lovely, poetic reflection on this sensuous season.