At this time of year, there are leaves everywhere. I found myself walking to the mailbox crunching through maple leaves. The cars have started creating a trail through them on the roadway. The fresh rain from yesterday has plastered many different colors and designs to the sidewalk. It is a natural masterpiece of art at my feet. The smell of wet rain and damp leaves remind me of something. I cannot put my finger on it. I keep walking.
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. The dry, wet leaves of autumn are calling up a memory. The thought comes to me as the smells assault my nose. I used to play in these things. I used to build big piles of leaves on my lawn and hurl them in the air. They'd get stuck in my hair, and I remember the smell.
I breathed in the memory. I was 10 again. I crawl in the pile and throw up the middle with an explosion of crisp brown and orange crackling leaves. A car goes by and I'm instantly back to being an adult. The autumn spell is broken.
When did the playing stop? Is it that I don't have time? I'm busy being an adult, working and doing chores. Is it that I don't have a lawn anymore? I have condo association lawns now that are raked with lawn blowers.
Or maybe, I've just been there, done that. I've built a lot of piles. Do I really need to build another one, get leaf bits in all kinds of parts that might be hard to clean later? Or is it that I just did it for the smell and the feeling of just throwing them about? It was fun, and I had time after my homework to rake them up on a fall weekday. Now I don't have much time except for work, work at home, and work some more.
I sniff. I smell the leaves. I remember. Besides, they're plastered to the sidewalk and I don't want to ruin the pattern that the rain created. Maybe it's nice to let the leaves be, and smell them.