I was thinking tonight, as I walked outside after supper, that I get some contentment from knowing that every fall will feel the same.
I know that every late summer the air will start to smell sharper. I know that the days will stay hot, but the nights will turn cool.
Even though it hasn’t happened yet this year, I know that the leaves on the Burning Bush will turn bright red. I know that the goldfinches will lose their color and that the turkeys will start to march through the yard every morning.
I was thinking that in a way it’s kind of boring. It’s predictable. After 26 years in this house, I know what color the leaves of every tree will be. I know that the pine needles will turn golden and that some will fall. I know that the snow will come to cover the stepping stones that I’ve placed in the garden.
Ho hum. How routine.
Then I started to think of life as seen through the eyes of my sweet granddaughter. Ellie is in her second autumn, but last year she was barely aware or alert. This year she notices every falling leaf. She laughs out loud at jack-o-lantern faces. She smells every marigold as if it is a miracle.
Every day when we go outside, she searches in the garden for “nomonos”, her favorite little cherry tomatoes. They are almost gone, and I understand that. For Ellie, this is an affront to her sense of order. “Where are my orange snacks?” I can hear her thinking. “I want to come out here every day of my life and eat sweet tomatoes!”
Life just goes around and around in such a repeating circle. Ellie doesn’t know that yet.
I think that the secret to loving life is to always find a way to see the circle as new. For me, that means surrounding myself with children. To them, every day is a brand new adventure.