Amber light filtered through empty branches, and leaves skittered around my small legs as we walked. Everything came under my observation: small ant hills, cars with rusty fenders parked along the street, the dogs barking a few houses away. I loved these afternoon walks with my mom and my little sister. Our destination was two blocks away, at the stop sign to the main road. Here, we'd dance and laugh and play until my dad's car turned the corner.
On this day, it's late October. The air has a chill, and the leaves at our feet are colorful. Sister and I run to pick up the prettiest ones, holding the fallen plants by their thin stems in a rainbow bouquet. The brilliancy of the reds, yellows and oranges were mesmerizing, and I'm quite sure I couldn't imagine anything more beautiful.
Every day we'd take this walk, although sometimes our destination was different. We'd walk and laugh and chat. And it's some of the fondest memories I have of my mom. Because every walk was an adventure, a venturing away from home to a distant land across the neighborhood. Deep down I felt like an explorer, foraging new frontiers and discovering new and exciting things.
There is always something nostalgic about late-afternoon memories, especially those from Autumn. Perhaps it's the way the light glows golden, or the ever-present childhood excitement for the celebratory season of Fall. But these memories fill me with warmth.
It occurred to me the other day how I still treasure walking. Only now I'm the mom corralling two small laughing, dancing children. And I wonder if they'll think back on our Autumn walks with the same warmth and innate happiness as I do. It sobered me to realize that I am now part of making memories with (and for) my kids. Will they remember me fondly at this stage in my life? Will they say their childhood was happy and full of adventure?
It is good to remember. It reminds us of where we came from, of who we want to be today. It reminded me of the kind of memories I want to give to my children, of the kind of mom I want them to know me as.
So we will continue to walk.
And I will always remember.
What are your fondest memories from childhood?