A Season for Change This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 3, 2013
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
I've always had a fondness for fall, or more specifically, the transition from summer to autumn. The warm days and cool nights put an extra spring in my step, as though the slight chill reawakens the senses. The transition from short sleeves to warm, knit sweaters is something I always anticipate, and before long, painted leaves fall from the trees and cover any evidence that there was once a summer.

As I take an evening walk, the aroma of campfire smoke and barbecue dances in the air with the chill of the upcoming winter. They become the smell of change. Underneath the familiar crunch of leaves beneath my boots and the soft hum of the season's last cicadas, children's laughter seeps through, the purest sound of all.

I turn the corner and see four children running in circles, stopping only to slap their chubby hands on the rough bark of a maple tree. I recognize the game, but it bothers me that I can't remember what it is called.

Each child is a little bit tinier than the last; if they stood side by side, they would make a staircase. They are dressed in patterned pajamas, each in a different color. The sky is slowly turning from navy to black, and I presume it is their last chance to play outside before bedtime. Their cheeks are flushed, naturally radiating the joy and carelessness that can only come from a child. I feel an uncontrollable pang of jealousy and sadness.

Suddenly it is as if I can smell the mix of fresh water and gasoline – a scent of my childhood summers. A memory overtakes me. The engine spurts water in the air as Dad turns the key. On the dock, my siblings and I jump up and down in our life preservers, eagerly waiting for Dad to lift us into the boat. Johnny is first; we do not argue because he is the littlest. Mom remains on the dock until my oldest sister is safely in the boat. Then Dad puts out his hand like he is escorting Mom out of a limo. She takes it and gracefully swings her long legs over the edge. The boat rocks like a cradle until Dad gains enough speed to cut through the water effortlessly. We roam the lake for hours, never tiring of the sun glistening off the water or the sweet moisture in the air. Whatever else is going on in the world is far away when we are on the boat. It's a shame we have to come back to shore.

Maybe my sadness is knowing that it is over and things have changed. Not all at once, but day by day, passing unnoticed. Years later, I'm staring at four children playing a game I can't remember the name of, and sadness overcomes me. Suddenly, the changes in my life are hard not to notice.

The wind picks up and blows the leaves around me. It seems like a good time to turn over a new leaf.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback