There’s a field of soybeans in the middle of the park where we walk. The plants are yellowed and brown, with the seeds still attached. In the middle of the field, there’s a patch of bright green grass where the soybeans refused to take hold. The wind whips up and rustles the plants and their dried bones rattle in response. Along the perimeter of the field, the wild plants are allowed to grow: goldenrod and pokeberry, its fruit bright purple and black. I see white snakeroot and dense blazing star and green foxtail.
Tiny snakes cross our path; winding their bodies this way and that across the asphalt path, while wooly bears cross in a slower, steadier march. A monarch butterfly rests upon a sprig of heath aster. A white moth flits here then there, pausing only an instant at a plant before continuing on its way.
I pick up seed pods from the ground: black walnut, pungent and acidic; hard-headed hickory; prickly beechnut; maple helicopters, ash and tulip and acorns wearing jaunty hats over smooth waxen faces.
The sun breaks through turtleshell clouds.
Fishermen stand knee deep in the creek, wearing waders and boots and jackets with fishing licenses pinned to the back. A man practices casting with an empty line.
Children stand in line to buy treats from the ice cream truck; a boy shyly teaches his girlfriend how to skip a rock, gently wrapping his arms around her and taking her right hand in his own. Another couple sits upon the top of a picnic table. He bends over his guitar and sings while she stares out at the children wading in the creek.
The wood carver carves his walking sticks, hoping someone will buy today.
The sun stains the clouds pink.
Everywhere I look, there is promise.
This post was written in response to Write On Edge’s RemembeRED
challenge: “For you, what does autumn evoke?
Show us in 300 words or less.”
Labels: Fall, Walk, Write on Edge