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Autumn, a Memory
By Brittany Redd
The memory clings to my mind, as vivid and fresh as the orange autumn leaves that hung far above me. The air, cool and dry, brushed my cheeks with color and bathed me in the scent of firewood and potential. What a simple thing it was to lie back in the hay and watch the sky, fingertips touching, dreaming of nothing in particular and the whole universe all at once. The sky grew smaller, the leaves became brighter, and my heart flooded with a thousand feelings I could not yet even name.
Oh, how the time passes. A million aspirations, bygone dreams, the crossing of oceans and continents, and the callousness of life have quickly filled the pages that, on that seemingly innocuous autumn afternoon, had been as crisp and unblemished as the leaves that stretched before us. If only I had known then how I would search the corners of the Earth years later, desperately, for a way to feel that again.
At the end of our spellbinding ride, I remember wanting to do it again, but hesitating because I knew it couldn’t possibly be the same. It was always meant to be a singular moment, encased in amber, ruby, and wood. Every year I find myself waiting, breathlessly, for the leaves to change, though my new home only seems to know Indian summers and rain. Sometimes, on the darker days, I find myself wishing that the sea would swallow me whole and take me back to that place so I can start it all over again.
But it doesn’t; and on most days, I wouldn’t want it to. Because somewhere inside of me still lives the spirit of a girl who dreams, who loves, and who believes that the changing of seasons is a whispered promise of brighter days—and perhaps the most beautiful autumn yet is on the next page.