Thursday, October 07, 2010

Autumn's First

Autumn's First

I remember many firsts throughout my life. The first time I saw the stars, unfettered by the ambient lights of a city. The first day of school, of summer camp. The first book I read without being told to do so; which was The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury(and will explain much to those who know me). The first time I ever, umm; well I was much older then and it's really no one's business.

For nearly all of those, the magic of that first moment never returns; except in the yellow-edged pages of memory. While this is often sufficient for dotards like myself, it is still not the same.

Be not saddened, my fellow travelers. At least for me, there is one first that always returns. No matter how many years pass, this one delight is always as excellent an experience as the first time it happened. It happens this time every year, while the earth rotates away from the Summer sun. The trees and birds and other living things know it, sense it perhaps, before we humans realize. And so Autumn creeps upon us, swirling yellow and orange leaves across the fields and pavements. So we leave our car air conditioners off at last, swish open the curtains and raise the windows at home; letting the last of Summer out and the first of Autumn in to our lives.

I ignored the mailbox on the way in, the almost full trash can could wait to receive it's allotment of flyers and ads. I dismissed the hum of the fans, the hushed electronic jibbering of my computers. Abandoning my backpack to a convenient kitchen chair, I opened the zippered front pocket and retrieved my magic orb. Stopping only to give it a perfunctory rinsing, I lifted it to my face and bit deeply.

There are no words, at least in English, to describe it. It's the essence of what is kindly provided by our planet, perhaps the reason that Druids worshiped trees. The sweet-tart snap of its skin against my teeth and the scent and taste filled my every sense at once. There is no drug, no other physical pleasure that equals this; and every time is like the very first time.

I savored that McIntosh Apple as long as I might. The Autumn's first, brought from the hither lands by a dear friend who actually paid attention (apparently and most surprisingly) to my rants. There is only one apple, of course, and that is the McIntosh. All others are pale imitations, mongrels and thoroughly incapable of eliciting this response. I ate everything but the seeds, and I considered that for a moment. If this was the apple that tempted Eve to the tree of knowledge (historically I concede that it was a pomegranate), I completely understand.

Now alas, I shall have to wait another year for this, but I assure you, the wait is well worth it.