With my ratty Dallastown High School Cheerleading sweatshirt pulled up over my ears, I stomped through the garden this morning, trying to stay warm as I reluctantly picked up fistfuls of leaves, crunching them into three garbage bags. How many memories are packed into that gesture, especially as some of the best that I have with my Dad were from days just like this. The only difference being that, then, there were so many that he would rake them into a giant pile for me to fall into, one sweetly redolent of sap and rot.
I did what feeble pruning I dared save for the rose bush which still has two loopy white blooms lolling off its branches. I stacked up the many small candle holders that lit up our summer nights like fireflies and replanted a lone hyacinth bulb. Will I be still living here in the Spring to see what has survived the chill? Or will it be for someone else to finally see the camellia tree bloom?
Remi and I let the air out of the massive iron radiators--we need all the help they can give us--and will soon head out to buy more fire wood. The kitchen cupboards are already packed to the gills with reserves of coffee, rice, pasta, everything I would need to make any soup that struck my fancy as well as small jars of things like curry mustard from Fauchon that always seems too "good" to open.
So we are prepared but I am already (already!) sentimental about the Fall that has just left us. My favorite season and a whole year lies ahead before I will see it again. Only one thing to do, drag out the box with the holiday lights.