We have passed some critical stage of fall-ness. When I look out my office window to the maple in the front yard, I can see it shed great clumps of leaves with every gust of wind. As I watch the leaves and listen to Pachelbel’s Canon, I am reminded of those first few heady weeks of college. Autumn always reminds of college and of freedom.

(Because I have a need to have a favorite everything, I’ve recently decided that autumn is my favorite season. Spring and autumn are the only choices, really, because summer and winter are too extreme. I like autumn best because it is warm-going-on-cool, rather than the reverse. I also like that everything is already green, but fading. Early autumn features produce from the garden, mid-autumn dazzles with its riotous colors, and late autumn is all about family and friends. Autumn is wonderful.)

When I walked into the kitchen this morning, I was overwhelmed by memories of school cafeterias: the smells of mass-produced corn and mashed potatoes and spinach, the sounds of dishware clattering at the dishwasher, the sights of people eating and laughing.

This reminds me of all my little friends, of Harrison and Antonio and Ian and Kaden, and of the discoveries they’re making every day at school. I think of first grade and of the novelty of so many kids in one place. I think of the school library, of the classroom, of the gym.

I think of the playground, and of the games we used to play there. I think of tetherball and four square and wallball and kickball and “hot lava” and of simply running from one end of the grass field to the other.

It’s a good day for reminiscing. It is a narrow distraction.

2 Replies to “In Praise of Autumn”

  1. Mom says:

    Speaking of tetherball and reminiscences, someday maybe I’ll tell you about my tetherball obsession in 6th grade. Better yet, maybe I’ll blog about it . . . 🙂

  2. Tamara (Brunson) says:

    Wow! I really don’t need any more distractions, but this is a great one J.D.! For some unknown reason I decided to Google myself tonight. I felt like the character in a novel. Just reading about the “geek squad” and thinking about jr. high and high school memories brought a smile to my face. It seems like just yesterday that I bumped into you at Wait Park. . .

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