The fascination I had with the changing colors of leaves was unmatched to anything else in my young life. How could something that was green turn yellow, orange, and red? This couldn’t be explained the way my father explained to me why bread turned green and blue. That wasn’t pretty. And the leaves didn’t seem to be getting old, if anything they seem to find a new life, a more beautiful life. To top it off, when they fell and my dad swept them together they became their own playground. A place to have endless amounts of fun.
On the first day of raking leaves I would patiently wait by the door while my mom made sure I was appropriately outfitted for the weather. She would make me put on an old pair of jeans, tshirt, and sweatshirt. Make sure my shoes were the oldest pair I had and send me to the front yard. While my father worked tirelessly to rake every leave out of the yard I would stare up in wonder at the beautiful trees and look down the road to the rainbow of colors on the mountains. I would pick up piles of leaves and throw them over my head, much to the dismay of my father, and bask in the glory of them crunching leaf by leaf under my feet. The air always smelled of crisp, fresh, fall air. Which when I was young was a mix of wood fires burning and fresh apples still waiting to be picked off the trees. Just as my limbs began to get cold it was time. What I had been waiting for all morning. My dad would watch the piles he worked endlessly to create be demolished by two children eager to destroy them. All that work he put in but he always joined in on the demolition. I always loved to take a running start, get right before the pile, lift my legs in the air, and jump in butt first. I loved the crunching of the leaves as I rolled from side to side trying to lift myself from the pile. My mom would always come out with the camera to capture the jumps and leaps and by midafternoon we were all laughing. Throwing leaves everywhere and building the leaves back up just as fast as we squashed them.
As late afternoon approached and the sun went from yellow to a gorgeous orange we would stuff all the leaves we could grab in to big black garbage bags. My mother would wait for us inside and have hot apple cider and homemade muffins. I would sit at the table and get excited about the next Saturday we would all be out playing in the every changing colors of fall.