Here Comes Autumn

There is nothing more beautiful than an autumn day.

I have recorded years of days just like this one.

They center around family, beautiful weather,

good food, things from the garden and animals.

Grandpa let the carrots go. And they did.

The longer he leaves them in the ground the funnier they look. The children call them “horse carrots” and that is exactly what they are. The kids no longer have to be told how to get them out of the ground because they have used the pitchfork many times. Olive is especially good at harvesting horse carrots because she is a horse-lover through and through.

Our neighbors on one side became old. He died and she moved away.

There are no horses in the stalls anymore. The big field on the west still has four beautiful horses. They are ridden all of the time by their owners and they love people. They especially love what people bring to them. Carrots, apples and pears . . . right off of the tree or the ground by way of a bright red bucket.

Olive always stands to the side of the horses

so that they can see her perfectly.

She is learning to ride, saddle a horse, take care of a horse and appreciate a horse’s intelligence and strength. It is very difficult to keep her on this side of the fence. The horses are drawn to her. They are especially curious about her hair, which she lets them sniff.

My earliest photographs of Olive with horses

were taken when she was barely one.

She was very cautious about feeding them anything. I found a pair of little gloves in the playroom closet which she adopted as her “horse gloves”. One was red with stripes and the other was blue with stripes. I still have them. She felt more confident at first, wearing the gloves. It wasn’t long before she didn’t think about them at all. She broke the carrots apart and fed the horses small pieces without the slightest hesitation. She hugged their heads and stroked their noses as she does today. All of the horses in the field make soft sounds when she is near them.

( Little Olive wearing her horse gloves many years ago.)

It is September but it is still hot.

The bucket is empty and Olive’s cheeks are flushed red. It is time to go back through Old Farmer Ron’s gate, past his empty stalls, through Grandpa’s  wide, swinging gate and into the backyard.

This is the time of plenty in the garden.

Plenty of flowers. Plenty of pumpkins for the porch. Plenty of tomatoes to share and to eat. Plenty of onions and many, many potatoes . . . still in the ground. There are peaches, apples and pears to be picked but that is for another day. Today, Grandpa picked just a few for the children to take home.

Little Millie can walk now.

She has been toddling around the yard with great freedom and the delight that goes with it. Today was the first time that she had ever seen a horse and she didn’t cry as children often do because a horse is so big.

This is mortality and it is fine. Very fine.

Tomorrow will likely be a fine day, too

but no one knows for certain.

We will be grateful for this day and everything about it.

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