October 1

I’ve seen fall foliage seasons where walking down our road was like wandering through a 3-D painting – so stunningly gorgeous the colors were nearly unbelievable. When my daughter was one, we spent a morning along our nearly empty road, me piling fallen red and gold leaves into her lap, while she lifted them with her tiny fingers and cooed.

The season may not have that radiant flame this year.

And yet, it’s fall, the season that reminds me perpetually of childhood, of staring through my third-grade classroom windows at the woods just beyond the playground and longing to play outside, of walking home in too-hot knee socks, with a sweater tied around my waist.

Hiking in the White Mountains this afternoon, then stretched out on a rocky peak, I remarked on the sweetness of fall apples.

Nothing like them, my brother said.

O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
From Robert Frost’s “October”

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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