When we were together recently, you snuggled in the Halloween sweatshirt given to you by your granddaughter Molly and your great-grandchildren, Grace and Gannon. You wore a scarf to keep your ears warm, and I tucked you into Dad’s old wheelchair and covered you with a bright green afghan. We took an afternoon walk along a path where “Leaves covered pavement like soggy cereal.” (Patricia Cornwell wrote that in her novel, THE BODY FARM, and the simile perfectly described our walk in southeast Kansas.) To quote Gordon Parks, renowned writer and photographer who grew up in Fort Scott, the day proved that “…Half past autumn has arrived.”
Gone were the Halloween cookies, replaced by bread for the ducks that waddled up to greet us. There was a chill in the air. While it was still afternoon, the evening gloom began to creep in. We returned to your apartment, ready to eat a hot meal together in the living room where every ceiling light, table and floor lamp had been turned on to keep the early darkness at bay.
Outside was a mixture of post-summer/pre-winter. I remember how you always used to smile at the signs of autumn, welcoming the dependable sequence of changes in nature and life. Your genuine appreciation for fall taught me to appreciate it as well…to view it as a time to slow the pace of life, and to watch, listen and learn the quiet lessons.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1