By Beppie Harrison
The time of scarlet and yellow and orange is almost over, but I have pictures to remember it.
It’s odd, but when I was growing up in Hawaii what I wished for was snow—probably because it was linked with Christmas. All my books that were about Christmas were also about snow and reindeer and snowmen and the North Pole. I’m sure, because there are now children’s books about everything there are also books about Christmas in non-winterish places (Santa Claus on a surfboard? Heaven forbid!) but that was it when I was under 10. Autumn? No one ever mentioned that, as I remember.
It was thus a great satisfaction to me when I moved first to Michigan (married, with small children of my own) and then to Massachusetts (still married, adult children living somewhere else) that snow, at least the first fall, was as beautiful as I’d always believed it would be. Of course, the first time each year I try driving on it I remember why I’m grateful for spring, but watching snow actually falling and snow freshly fallen is just as nice as I thought it would be.
The great surprise was autumn. I’ve discovered that’s spectacular. Even in Michigan it was beautiful, and to be living in New England where autumn color is on all sides is a local treat. It’s so spectacular so that people come from miles away (mainly south) to see it. All I have to do is look out my very own window. It’s magnificent!
But the essence of autumn is that it’s transitory. Summer, once it comes, sits down and squats there, sweat-provoking heat and all. Winter is another one that tends to go on and on and on. Snow in November? Oh yes, some years, both in Michigan and here in New England. I find snow before Christmas delectable and desirable. Afterwards not so much, unless we’ve had a green Christmas, which is so not fair. Then the first snow comes later and I have to admit is still the beautiful sight. Then. But winter has been know to linger on into April, and even cold days in May, which is inexcusable. Spring deserves its time.
But autumn! It comes, and then it’s gone, with only bare branches left behind. And leaves. Piles and piles of leaves, very satisfactory for small children to roll in, all rough and crackly and if small pieces stick in your sweaters, who cares? Only mothers, who care about some really strange things.
So here’s a bit of autumn to remember.