“Autumn Leaves”

Sitting on my porch in early October, I see them all falling around me. Slowly, others faster, sometimes alone and others in groups. The ground holds them as their numbers increase each day.

I considered glue and buying a very, very tall ladder but smiled at its futility. Scotch tape? Same response. It’s happening and has been happening all my life but this time in my life it seems to kinda hurt to see those guys and gals falling from their beautiful branches that made summer so green. Now their green turns to amber, and then finally becoming a rich golden that says to all, “Another season is ending with a new season beginning.”

Like creating an angle in the snow, I also thought of creating my name out of them before they disappear. It’s only three letters, shouldn’t take that long. But then I thought, “Why would I use my name when they are the ones passing from season to another?” I should piece their name together, one leaf at a time until it identified someone loved and missed, gone but not forgotten.

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Across from my family home was a vacant lot where my sixth-grade girlfriend and I would create a home out of the greens in the early fall. Flat, but 3-D in our minds, we created a kitchen where good food was served along with laughter and arguments about either religion or sports. Our living room was the smallest because every good conversation occurred in the kitchen, the largest room. Our leaf-created hallway led to each bedroom where our small green-leafed children slept and woke up to this beautiful fall day. We enjoyed our homemaking adventure until the next adventure began.

Spring is all about adventure as much as autumn is about reflection and preserving memories in minds that don’t hold things as well in its autumn years.

I don’t know enough people to link all the fallen leaves. I can think of names or stories read in newspapers over the past year – lives either tragically or peacefully becoming golden. The few loved names closest to me are the ones I’m saving for last. I hope to collect as many of them that I can and place them in my “real” kitchen and watch the richness of what their lives meant to me return to the dust from which they came.

There’s a sadness in autumn but also a rich gold feeling for the green and amber colors shared over many, many years.

Well, after typing, it’s back to my porch and watching how enriching life can be and it’s because of those we’ve loved. They have colored our lives golden with their lives and we now see their color turn to gold.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com.
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