Feeling Fall


Sun warmth makes a welcome friend in spring, highly acceptable after the dreary chill of winter months. Sun warmth becomes a dear prize in the fall as the possibility of experiencing it dwindles fast.

I had so much to do at home that I had no time to have a picnic. I prioritized in my selfish way. It was one of the last 70 days we would have, maybe for months, I rationalized, tossing my pangs of guilt away in a flash. I laid out a light lunch on a plate, loaded a tray with plate, beverage glass, napkin and the paperback I’ve been working on (oh, yeah, my cell phone went with the tray, too), and I headed out to the yard and our old sun-parched and splintery picnic table.

I made note of the sun’s direction, sat down facing away from it, and its rays fell across my back. I imagined my back as a sponge. The sunlight became warm and liquid, soaking into every pore of my sponge, massaging as it hit. AAhhh.

As I ate, I tried to read without smudging the pages of my book. The light breeze that tried to steal my napkin finally won, forcing me to forfeit my seat and move fast enough to catch the tan paper napkin before it moved to the next yard. I settled back into my sun massage, hunted my place in my book, and grazed on my lunch.

We can see the highway from our yard, but we’re far enough back from the road frontage that road noise is muted. We can also see our local high school and middle school from the yard. On such a beautiful day, I was surprised I didn’t hear more activity.

It was so quiet that leaves drifting from the maple tree nearby made soft scraping noises as they hit the ground. I readied a triangular corn chip to dip in a small dish of salsa on my plate when a dainty, dappled leaf, colored like a pear, floated onto the dish. As I lifted it away, I realized how long it would take me to try to draw the typical, tiny familiar shape, and here it lay on my palm so perfect and real.

The comings and goings of a few bees made me watch my spoon carefully. One bee took full advanatage of my tolerance. It remained settled on my square of Jell-O with carrots and pineapple leftover from my garden club meeting. I wondered how something as manufactured as Jell-O might affect a bee.

When the bee full of Jell-O finally buzzed off, there were scuffly marks on the smooth surface where it had been scarfing my salad. I ate it anyway since surely that was one of the cleanest, finest specimens of a bee I’d seen lately.

We were alike, me and the bee. We both liked our sweets. I eyed my bite-sized Milky Way Dark that lay in the sun on a metal tray. I hoped it hadn’t melted. It was one of the Halloween treats I had on hand for the trick-or-treaters who didn’t show up this year. Wasn’t it lucky I’d chosen a candy I liked since now I’d have to eat them?

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