A Walk Through the Leaves
Autumn, fall, whatever you prefer to call it – this is my season. Orange, yellow and red leaves falling onto lawns and sidewalks. Hot apple cider, pumpkins, sweaters. These are some of my favorite things. While most people get excited over summer, I am one of the few who look forward to having it end.
The weather is perfect – not too hot, not too cold. The world around me is a riot of colors, and I am warm and cozy in my toasty sweater as I walk around Summit, leaves swirling about my feet. Downtown is bustling as usual, and I stop in my favorite coffee shop for a warm apple cider, sit down on a bench, and watch the kids playing in the park off of Summit Avenue. The parents and little kids are out in full force, because they know that time is running out to play outdoors, at least without coats and mittens. I watch the squirrels and chipmunks scurrying around, gathering their nuts and seeds as they too know that the colder months are on the way.
I finish my cider, and stroll over to the Summit Library on Maple Avenue to see what’s new on the shelves. I want to get there before the kids get out of school and stream in to do their homework and work on projects. I will get a book from one of my favorite authors, and then after dinner tonight I can sit by my fireplace and enjoy a cup of tea while the fall moon rises.
As I leave the library, I walk a short distance down the street and pop into the Summit Post Office to mail some letters and end up chatting with some of the people in line. In this post office, there is always a line, but the clerks move us through quickly and help us get on our way. This is a good thing, since I am meeting a friend who is coming in from New York City on the train. Just as I walk up to the Summit Train Station, she is coming through the doors onto Union Place. How convenient to have a train station right in town; I love being able to just hop on a train and be in NYC in 40 minutes or so.
As we walk down the street, she points out the new Italian place and asks if we can go in. Apparently she has a yearning for an espresso and a cannoli. Who am I to say no? As we sit down to enjoy our treats, we watch the older kids walking by with books bags that look like they weigh a ton. Oh yes, school is out for the day. The school year has only recently begun, and the kids are all decked out in their new back to school finery and looking fresh and rested from a summer attending camps and going down to the shore. People say spring is a new beginning, a rebirth, but I believe fall is as well. Kids are starting new classes, learning new things, and making new friends. Mums and asters are springing up all over, and they add yet more color to the world around us.
After leaving the café, we decide that it’s a perfect day to walk around town and explore some more. We check out the yoga store, a pet store, and marvel over all the frozen yogurt shops. I also point out all the wonderful places to eat in town, such as a steak house, a diner, a sushi place, and a Mexican eatery. She is impressed by all the choices, and it’s not easy to impress someone who lives in the city that never sleeps. Now all we have to do is choose one.
But we have time, so we agree to walk to the Reeves-Reed Arboretum on Hobart Avenue to see what’s blooming and to walk the trails. As we do, colorful leaves fall from above and rustle about as we walk through them. I love to walk, and I love nature, so this is a great past time for me. For my friend who lives in a bustling city, this is a nice break from concrete, cab fumes and blaring horns. Instead, we admire the foliage, and listen to birds singing while surrounded by the beauty of the gardens.
After this, we are tired out and hungry from all of our walking, so we decide to pick a place for dinner where we can enjoy a good meal and relax. We settle on an Italian restaurant on Springfield Avenue, because we both are in the mood for a big bowl of pasta and a nice glass of wine. Once we are finished, and a in a nice food coma, we don’t feel like moving around too much.
Fortunately, right down the street is a movie theater, so we decide to check out what’s playing. There’s always something that I want to see. We buy our tickets, get our popcorn and soda (even though we just finished eating!), and sit down to relax for a couple of hours to enjoy the show.
Afterwards, I walk my friend back to the train station, and we are both tired out from our long but enjoyable day. I see her off, and start the short walk back to my home. I’m looking forward to starting the new book I took out from the library earlier.
Yes, I’ve had a busy day. How nice to be able to do all this, and without ever having to leave town.