I love autumn. Our front maple tree is turning slowly to vibrant red, and the tree across the street is a blazing yellow. The fall colors are something I missed when we lived in Ireland, and I give deep sighs of enjoyment as I drive through the community, both for the visual pleasure now and the memories of autumns past.
My three children brought me gifts from nature when they were small. The boys would pick anything they thought was unique – grass, weeds, poison ivy. You name it, they brought it. My daughter, however, took care to gather beauty in her small hands. One year she brought me a bouquet of carefully chosen autumn leaves, scarlet and orange as bright as any summer flowers. She insisted I put them in water so they wouldn’t wilt, and then was disappointed when they eventually drooped anyway, without even turn crunchy.
A few years earlier, while visiting grandparents in Oregon, she picked a beautiful bouquet of dandelions for me. I took them from her sweaty hand, filled a small juice glass with water for them, and put them on the windowsill – the place of pride for flowers. Her grandfather, a horticulturist, came in and immediately wanted to know why there were weeds in the window. “They’re not weeds, they’re flowers,” came her three-year-old reply. There followed a back-and-forth argument: “Weeds.” “Flowers.” “No, weeds.” “No, flowers.” Followed by a foot stomp, complete with hands on hips. Grandpa, of course, didn’t back down – a weed was a weed was a weed. But #1 Daughter was determined. They were beautiful, therefore they were flowers.
What gifts from nature have small hands presented to you? What favorite fall memories do you have?