Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Vignette

"Three of us could fit in this tree, Tracy. I mean three of us like the pair of us, so six, not three of us individually."

We sat side by side on the wooden swing, swaying front and back and side to side, twisting and dangling and laughing. The leaves glowed gold and vermilion, blazing on the trees as the setting sun came around the corner. And my best friend, who's hair matches the leaves, and I stared up into the branches that weaved a lattice curtain which partially blocked the sky. Soon we were joined by Jake and broke out the ice cream. Cookies and Cream. The container froze my hands as the cream itself chilled us in the fall shade. And yet our hearts were warm with all the wonderful cliches of a fall day. Conversation about Europe and missions and Africans and existentialism and trying to not sound pretentious was often punctuated by heart-felt laughs and excited gesticulation which caused the swing to rock a little more vigorously than usual. Spoonful after spoonful of (too much) ice cream. Impressive insights and shocking stories. And a lot of love.

It was a moment too perfect for a picture, but one really should have been taken anyway. It would show me on a wood swing hanging from a branch about 20 feet up. I'm in my salmon-y cardigan, grinning with a nose crinkled from giggling, and my stripey TOMs dancing just an inch or two off the ground. Next to me is Tracy. She's grasping the rope with her right hand, her legs crossed in a pencil skirt and boots and her mouth open in her excited, time-to-change-the-world face. And Jake stands across from us, his hands in his pockets causing him to be almost hunched forward, but only because of the nippy air. His head is high and his face wears the quiet but confident and caring smile that happens in a middle of a good conversation. No one did take that picture--we were too busy living the moment to think about it at the time. And then it was over too soon and Tracy and I slid off the swing and walked home.

"Tracy, I just really want to jump in that pile of leaves. But someone worked so hard to rake them up, so I won't. Remember that one time we played in the leaves. . . "

No comments: