“It was one of those perfect English Autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than than in life.” P.D. James

It started off simply enough. Riding my bike back from the market, taking a shortcut through a bike path. A perfect leaf, drenched in the colours of Autumn, drifted down and landed almost on my face. I grabbed at it, managing NOT to fall off the bike, and tucked it into my pocket. I rode on, and found myself giggling like a small child. A strange delight at finally being able to experience a whole European Autumn. There are memories tucked away from when I was nothing but a skinned-kneed girl, a yearning for the changing of the leaves, a pleasure that growing up in Sydney did not provide. My special leaf sat on my windowsill for a few days until someone decided to toss it out.
On the odd occasion I have come up for air in the past 6 weeks, from my daily toil of painting and wallpapering, I have noticed that the trees in my backgarden were slowly changing from lush green to gold. Each time I glanced at them, I felt a tingle of pure childlike delight…my very own Autumn leaves. A few minutes each day spent in the gentle art of raking, was better than any meditation, soothing for the soul. Satisfaction that the garden could be so easily restored to lush green. Then the wind arrived. It wasn’t so much a storm, as a determined long winded gusting. It started in the morning and continued throughout the day. On this occasion, I was entrenched in clearing out the cellar… no windows and no chance to see that what was taking place outside would soon change my romantic notions forever.
It stopped me in my tracks. HUH? What was that? Had someone dumped a plush persian carpet on my lawn? It took me hours, of raking, bagging, raking, bagging…. the whole time muttering under my breath, “What the hell… grumble, grumble….damn leaves….damn Autumn…as if I don’t have enough to do…grumble, grumble.” Not even the crisp, clean air and sparkling blue sky could distract me from the massive piles of leaves that built up. My beautiful leaf had decided to throw a party and invited every mate within kicking distance.

What is it about life that all those romantic notions need to be knocked out of you, does this mean I have to grow up?


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