Harvest Time

Joy Hellard

Carved pumpkins, hot apple cider, cozy sweaters—these are my thoughts of fall as I watch my fireplace cast dancing shadows around the room. Autumn is my favorite season. It is the time of year when nature brings forth its last burst of beauty as if it had been saving up for a spectacular finale. As a child, I loved the rich multicolored leaves, which skated along the ground and swirled in the air like a festive kaleidoscope. Holding each jeweled leaf to the sun, I marveled at the intricate webbing and found magic in their translucent patterns. With youthful abandon, I hurled myself into piles of fallen splendor, smelled the tang of rich earth, and touched the warmth of a summer sun hidden in each leaf. Throughout my life I observed fall parade its radiance in scarlets and golds. I noticed how easily nature let go of the past—not with sadness—but with a joyous burst of brilliance. Reflecting on this season, I find that harvest time is a metaphor for this stage of my life. The spring of childhood and the summers of growing into an adult are past and I am in the Autumn of my years. Reflecting on this season, I discover I want my life to parallel those lessons taught by the rustling harvest leaves.

May I embrace my lines and wrinkles with the same wonder and appreciation as when I marvel at the veining in the fallen leaves. I want to understand this kind of beauty only comes from enduring the cold rains of spring and the sizzling heat of summer. Like fall, who does not fret about tomorrow, I want to age gracefully, filling my last days with light and color. Like Autumn, may my words and actions inspire hope like that found in nature’s promised renewal. Nature’s final glory glimmers unburdened with remorse or regret. I wish to fling away past sorrows and look forward to the ever-changing cycle of life. Like the crimson trees, unconcerned about their falling leaves or growing old; I want to let go and create space for new things to come. Autumn leaves do not just fall; they take their time to flutter and wander finally given the opportunity to soar. Untethered by obligations of the past, I want to fly into new adventures and meander down new paths of learning. Fall does not worry about a coming winter; its stunning elegance shouts out to live in the present—to appreciate the moment. I will breathe in the crisp air, anticipate the coming holidays, and welcome a cooler sun upon my face. And when winter comes, I hope to be that autumn leaf who laughs in the fading light and, knowing it is time to leave, appreciates that I have lived, loved, and found my love returned.

The SaddleBrooke Ranch Writing Guild is a group dedicated to improving our writing skills. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the La Vista room from 1 to 3 p.m. If you have questions about the club, contact Joy Hellard at [email protected].