It is the middle of October: I am in my front yard on the leaf covered driveway practicing basketball. Basketball is my favorite sport and this is my favorite time of the year. The cold brisk air touches my skin as I shoot the basketball. The ball’s worn leather fits the palm of my hand like a glove. The basketball season will be starting any day now so I have been practicing my shots for nearly an hour. I like imagining the rush of a real game and the feeling that I get when I seize the ball from my opponent and the excitement and adrenaline that surges through my body when the ball goes into the hoop and the crowd goes wild. After a while my fingers begin to feel like icicles; as the ball hits my hand it feels like my fingers are about to break off in a painful snap which brings me back to reality. I look around and notice what a beautiful crisp fall day it is. The air is chilly and there is not a cloud in the sky. It is bluer - bluer than I ever remember. Everything is changing. The leaves are transforming from a light green to a golden yellow, bright orange and deep red. The luscious green grass is changing to a yellowish brown. All of summer’s flowers are beginning to wilt. Meanwhile; the wind begins to pick up and the leaves begin to rustle and start to flutter to the ground. When I begin my approach for the next layup I can hear the golden yellow leaves crunching beneath my feet as I run. Then I take off from the ground like a rocket and the crunching goes silent. As I sore through the air the only thing I can hear are the trees swaying in the wind. Finally, I let go of the ball and begin my descent. The next sound I hear is the swish of the ball as it exits the hoop. The sound of the swish is the sweetest sound of all. All of the sudden when I hit the ground a huge gust of wind strikes my face. My finger tips are so cold now that they are numb. I want to keep practicing my shot but I realize I am going to have to quit for a while and thaw out my hands. So, I take one last shot from the three point line imagining there is only seconds left until the final buzzer. When the ball leaves my finger tips I can hear the crowd going wild as the final buzzer sounds, I hold my breath, the ball hits the rim and bounces into the net; back to reality. I suddenly have the urge for a steaming cup of hot chocolate. So I go inside and make myself a flavorful cup topped off with a layer of soft gooey marshmallows. The warmth of the cup starts to thaw my frozen fingers. The color of my finger tips begin to change from a pale white to a rosy red. There is a tingling feeling in my fingers as they regain warmth. As I drink my creamy hot chocolate I feel the warmth rush through my entire body. While my core temperature begins to rise, I think to myself what a perfect fall day.
The Perfect Fall Day
October 20, 2009