The trees are changing, the colors bright, the sunrises and sunsets are saturated with light. The air exudes a crisp energy, the sky is a cerulean blue, all in synergy as the days grow shorter. Fall has come to northwest Ohio, and Sylvania, the city of trees, is aglow.
I always marvel at the brightness of fall colors, as if the trees, bushes and flowers are grasping every living moment before they die. Flaming in the dying of the light. What a dignified and glorious way to transition to another season. It's an analogy that's good for the aging human soul.
My two-year-old grandson Chase is at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to aging souls, but he's chasing fall like the energizer bunny. He can't wait to go outside, to look at the sky and the trees, to pick up fallen leaves and find buckeyes on our walks, to scurry up and down steps counting 1,2,3,4,5, with a bright red maple leaf in his hand. He loves autumn. He chases it.
"Mom, that's because he's two and he's in to everything!"
"Yeah, like spilling my cup of coffee on the rug, thank goodness it wasn't hot; or moving chairs around the kitchen to get to the stove (thank goodness it wasn't on),and finding the garlic powder and pouring it all over the floor?"
"Aha, like that. Wait....Did he really do that?!"
"Yep. But I managed to get him just in time, or almost just in time. I told him it was time to go for a walk, which of course distracted him immediately."
"I see," Michelle said, the height of calmness. "It's probably because of the colors and the flowers flaming before the dying of the light...."'
I smiled. My daughter was teasing me.
"And oh, by the way," I went on, "he loves that NY Yankee baseball cap, which might have come down from my dad, your granddad, who was a Yankee fan to the end. Chase might be a baseball player some day!"
"Well, basically he's copying his brother Josh, who loves wearing his Detroit Tigers hat," Michelle responded. "Chase wants a hat of his own. He wants to be like his brothers Josh and Kyle."
Well, how super is that, I thought. Brothers, baseball and fall. They go together like a horse and carriage, like hotdogs and pickles, like Lauren and Bacall, like ....
"Oh my God, where's Chase?" Shel asked, looking around. "Good lord, he's out the door and going down the back steps!"
Chasing fall, I thought. I like to think he will always do that, in some way or another. That he will explore the world with open arms, unbounded curiosity, unconditional joy. How splendid to be two years old in the autumn of our days!