Nostalgia in the Turning Leaves

Autumn has descended with her colored cloak, familiar nostalgic scented air, and with her heartbreaking blue sky speckled with perfect cotton clouds. It's my favorite time of year- in spite of my obsessive love for Halloween dying years ago. I would decorated the house for All Hallow's Eve on September 1st, and leave them up until mid November before taking them down for Christmas things. Like Nascar- I fear my mind has blocked my love for the holiday due to some emotional connection to it too brutal to recall.

Instead now my heart fills with nostalgia when the leaves change. I think it goes along with my love of all things back to school in August.

Years and years ago- when the weather turned cooler and the leaves started their change- I'd go to my place. Secret by no means, but is seemed I was the only one that knew it was there. I'd go back to the school pond when classes were done for the day- crack open my notebook, find some pen from the rainbow assortment in my back pack and write. I started this is 6th grade (Junior High) and it carried on thru High School. Once the snow fell, I'd stop going there till Spring- since, let's face it, sitting in snow and shivering isn't the most creative of situations.

I would write and write and WRITE- about crushes on celebrities or teachers I had, about faraway places I knew nothing about, or how my dream of becoming an LA County lifeguard would for sure come true one day.

Thru Junior High- the school pond was my refuge from bullies and being the odd one. In High School- it was safe. Home life was rough in the wake of my gran father's death my Sophmore year- dad took it really hard and had fights with my mom daily, dealing with my newly widowed grandmother was difficult to say the least, and the devastation of losing the one grandfather of two I had that actually cared about me and loved me consumed what little of me was left.

I read a poem in my English class that year, that spoke to me on every level possible. It made me feel okay to be me. Turns out it was written by a favorite author of my grand father's so it made me feel a connection to the man I loved and lost that I so badly needed. After that, I opened my eyes to my writing on a different level and my love of all things English Class related blossomed. This is the poem that has forever changed my life.

"The Road Less Taken- Robert Frost"
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
and sorry I could not travel both
and to be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim;
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads unto way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Still, to this day- I get a great sense of calm after reading it. Every time a collection of Robert Frost poems book catches my eye- I have to buy it. I must have at least 6 copies, including a full collection of his work handed down to me after my grand father's death from my grandmother- it lays on my nightstand. I love the feeling of the yellowed pages and the smell of old ink. Running my fingertips along dogeared pages, and weathered book bindings- wondering whom else before me found solace and comfort by light from the bedside table. Thinking of my grandfather reading it in the quiet of the basement after filling the house wood stove. How many other people have found themselves in this man's poetry? Surely- I can't be the only one.

High School helped me find the authors I love- Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Frost, Thoreau, and most of all, still to this day- the great Ernest Hemingway. Another Frost poem I love and that is most fitting to the seasons change outside...

"Gathering Leaves- Robert Frost"
Spades take up leave
No better then spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are as light as balloons.

I make a great noise
of rustling all day
like rabbit and deer
running away.

But the mountains I raise
elude my embrace
flowing over my arms
and into my face.

I may load and unload
again and again
till I fill the whole shed
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight;
and since they grew duller
from contact with earth
next to nothing for color

Next to nothing for use
but a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
the harvest shall stop?


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