As we drove along the country roads, the sun glistened through the leaves of trees already displaying fiery oranges and brilliant yellows. In the fields, stocks of wheat tossed their golden heads to the rhythm of the soft breezes. Further beyond cattle grazed as they had all summer but with an indescribable calmness that only seems possible on this kind of day. The road wound southward toward and then along the river which reflected the glories of the day back to us. We smiled to ourselves, consumed with an inner peace. Boy did we ever pick a great day to do this!
The spotted orange of the pumpkin fields indicated that we had reached our destination. We drove up the hilly lane toward the farm, our entire bodies brimming with anticipation. The surroundings were enchanting, kind of like “chicken soup for the soul”. The comfort and warmth of a farm-house surrounded by fresh autumn harvest produce and old barns filled with antiques and lovely reminders of yesteryear set the stage. We couldn’t wait to park and leap from our seats onto the welcoming grounds.
As he ambled carefully between the rows of pumpkins, his blond locks, highlighted by the sun, drew the attention of everyone nearby. His big blue eyes sparkled as he wrapped his little hands around the huge round forms that were so new and so exciting for him. You say his name, “Henry!” and his face lights up brighter than the day. As I watched him I suddenly missed my own children. I missed them as toddlers. I remember how they had had the same uncapped excitement at the freedom to roam and explore when they came to this farm. And I missed them as the school children they are now. How much they still would have enjoyed being there.
“We’ll bring all the kids next week after school!” My friend Karen nodded as she assisted Henry’s endeavours to discover. She felt the twinge too. Not guilt per say, but we both needed to come back and we needed all of our children to experience the same satisfaction we had gained from our little jaunt into the country. We wanted to hear their perception of the place in words reflecting their unique little minds. “Yes. Next week.” I said and locked the idea securely in my mind’s agenda.
Heritage squash, small pie pumpkins, fresh apples, sweet corn and a cornucopia of baked goods soon beckoned us and soothed our conscience. Oh the lovely things we could bring back home! We filled our baskets with all sorts of goodies as we were already smelling the aromas of fall inspired soups and pies and hearing the crunch of little teeth breaking into crisp fruits and vegetables (and a few ginger cookies too). Hundreds of overflowing pots of autumn Chrysanthemums – brilliant yellows and oranges, deep reds, and pretty purples – captivated us too. They surrounded us on all sides. How could we leave without one?
We did leave, eventually, but clearly the trip never left us. There are some days that just never leave your mind. If you close your eyes, you can capture their essences very easily. In a way I hope that next week’s trip with the children will be the same but I know it won’t. It may be similar, it may even be better, but it will definitely have a completely different dynamic – cooler, different time of day, more people, and more hectic. It will be a new fall day to write about. Eh, Karen? (Please see Karen’s beautifully written version of events on her blog “Virtually There” and the gorgeous photos she got of Henry. You’ll also discover my big OOPS! for the day!)
And, for heaven’s sake, get out and discover YOUR beautiful fall day!