Childhood Memoir

January 6, 2010
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On the street of my previous home the street lamps stand tall and unlit, the neighbors walk their dogs without the bother of insects, and the oak trees give their last farewells to the summer heat in an array of colored leaves spilled upon the sidewalks. I think of every colored leaf as a representation of one of my sisters. Yellow is for the brightest and most promising sister, Sara. Orange is for the most spontaneous and wild sister, Grace. Red is for the most creative and darling sister, Angel. And golden brown is for the calm and carefree, me.

With all the leaves flaunting their colors everyday of fall excites every cell in my body. I practically trip running off the bus, to get the chance to run around in the newly fallen leaves. As the bus roll away with a loud lion’s grumble, I turned toward the house. Running through the front yard, the sounds of crumpling and popping leaves trail behind me. Darting toward the kitchen, I see my mother sitting at the table. Abruptly I ask, “Where are Sara and Grace?”

“In their room, doing their homework.” she vacantly replied, completely submerged in her work.

“Is it alright if we go outside for a while?” I inquired hesitantly.

“As long as you finish your homework before bedtime.” I could feel the heat of excitement bubble up from beneath my toes all the way to the top of my head.
With a loud thud, I dropped my backpack which felt as if it was filled with a bowling ball instead of a few books. Then I flew to the closet to retrieve my light blue scarf. It felt like a thousand cotton balls in my hands, and the little golden bumble bee pin seemed to smile with delight as we hastily made our way outside.

The leaves were perfect, skewed in every direction, in every color. The wind was the best part though. It came in short gusts that sent leaves everywhere. I felt like Pocahontas as I began humming “Colors of the Wind.” I soon came to realize that my simple, unconscious humming had turned into a chorus production. Sara and Grace were wildly twirling around, using their rakes as microphones. I became submerged in glee and began to run along, energetically gathering leaves with my rake.

After about thirty minutes of endless raking, we had made three small piles. We made a rough circle of sticks in the middle of the yard, and repositioned ourselves back at our piles. The rule was simple; the last one to the circle loses and has to be buried in the pile. I had the advantage of the slightly larger rake, but the disadvantage of farthest distance. At the count of three our rakes were scraping against the grass and crumpling all the leaves, as we vigorously tried to get all our leaves to the pile first. I could see Sara running and finishing, then helping Grace. Cheaters.

After accepting my tragic loss, I took my seat in the middle of the stick circle. The grass was a little damp and I felt the downpour of leaves falling on my head. The leaves were prickly and crumbly as they touched my skin. I shut my eyes, trying to keep all the dirt and leaf crumbles out. In seconds, I was the core of a mountain of leaves. I jumped up from under the leaves as my sisters began screaming in delight as a thousand leaves flew in the air. We started throwing leaves up everywhere, making an absolute mess of the yard we had just cleaned.
By the time we returned into our house our bright red cheeks were stinging from the chill of the wind and exhaustion. We took off our coats and scarves while mom made us Echinacea tea with honey. We all sat down at the table sipping our tea and worked on various school projects.

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