When I first moved west from Ontario, it was the autumn leaves I missed the most. My mother mailed me some, which I suspended from threads from the ceiling of my windy prairies dorm room. They reminded me of home, and of the times we gathered leaves and taped them to the windows when I was younger. I remember one year having to collect leaves from a host of Carolinian forest residents, including the red oak. We couldn’t find an oak tree anywhere. We called relatives and neighbours. We scoured our woodlot. In the end, my oak leaf page was blank.
All this to say that I have carried on the tradition as an adult of stopping to notice the leaves, and am passing this trait along to my kids. We have not managed to get out on any fall hikes, with our busy schedules, but we did go leaf picking in a small park and pressed the leaves under a tower of heavy books.
With this trove of autumn’s offerings, I don’t feel as bad about almost missing the season, as the torrential rains of November have already begun. I know that I can go back to my books to find inspiration in the dark rainy season.