Ahhhh... Can you smell it? There is a cool breeze blowin' and a new crispness in the air. As the breeze blows lazily through the tree's, a brightly colored leaf lets go of it's tight grip on the source that has been giving it life for months now. Soon it's brothers and sisters will follow suit and release their grasp and do their final waltz to the waiting ground below. The ground has exchanged it's old carpet of lush green for a thick, new coat of many colors. Fall awakens so many of my senses and stirs up wonderful memories.
My grandparents had a yard full of many kinds of trees. Maple, cherry, pecan,apple and a HUGE old oak tree. Much of my childhood was spent underneath, in, beside or swinging among these trees. In the fall, my grandfather would diligently rake for hours to round up the colorful carpet of leaves. We kids got to help out if we were lucky! I remember the sound of the metal rake dragging through the leaves...it was such a soothing sound. To us , it wasn't work it was an adventure. Soon we would have a huge, colorful mound of leaves! "Wow! Look what we did, Grandad! "
My grandfather was a quiet, gentle man. He would step back to admire his hard work, with a small hand-rolled cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. Then, without giving it a second thought, he would step aside and allow a mass destruction of his carefully piled mountain of leaves.
I can remember the feeling of the first jump into that huge ocean of leaves. Get back as far as you can , run fast and take a flying leap..."whoooosh!"
The crisp leaves part like waves in the ocean as you dive in. The cool dampness of the leaves makes your whole body tingle. As you swim to the top and get your first breath of fresh air...ahhh...that's what I remember most...that wonderful aroma of fresh fallen leaves! Standing up and stepping back,with leaves dangling from my hair and clothes, I make way for my brother and sister to have their turn. Laughter and giggles fill the fall air. My grandfather joined with my grandmother now, stand proudly watching as we destroy a hard days work of raking!
As the sun starts to fade, Granny calls us in to get cleaned up for dinner. Lining us up on the front porch to sweep the leaves from our hair, faces and clothes, we file in side.
Grandad, with the barely lit cigarette still in the corner of his mouth, reaches for the rake perched against the old oak tree and smiles... and begins again, to rake the leaves all back into a colorful mound.
I can feel the love of my grandparents, even today, when the scent of fresh fallen leaves floats through the air. Ahhhh... Can you smell it?