The first day of autumn...always our favorite season. Growing up, we loved the cool, crispness in the air and the smell of the coke plants,
Kim and I liked to walk up South Mountain and see the leaves change. The colors so brilliant - reds, yellows, oranges. We'd collect the prettiest leaves to take home so Kim could press them and save them, to remember our walk together.
The Delaware Water Gap was another favorite spot of ours to drive to to see the leaves change, do some hiking, watch the mighty Delaware river (remember when that guy, Washington, crossed its waters?).
Kim loved to be able to break out her long sleeved shirts and sweaters. I always thought she looked so pretty in her sweaters. But, she just plain always looked pretty.
One day, as we walked, she said to me 'If we ever have a little girl, let's name her Autumn.' I was so blown away by the moment, I could only stare into her eyes, smile and nod.
And so it was, many years later, in the delivery room, as I tried to help the nurse flip Kimmy to her other side, that I noticed the baby coming on her own and was able to assist in the delivery - so excited (panicked?) that I never did see the gender. Finally, Kim said "Well? Is it a girl or a boy?" That's right, she wanted it to be a surprise. She never found out what we were having for any of the three kids. "Because there are so few true surprises in life..." she told me.
"It's a girl!" The nurse told us.
Kim looked at me, fixing her eyes, no locking them on mine - like magnets, I could never look away - smiling, the first tears brimming around her eyes..."Autumn" she said.
Today, we celebrated the first day of Autumn. Taking a walk in the desert early this morning, Tonio observed how many new flowers had bloomed. I told him that this was our autumn. You hear so many people, who have transplanted themselves, sigh and say 'wish the leaves changed' or "I miss that or I miss this about fall', but what they are really missing, is the incredible beauty right here - even Tonio gets that. The desert is so green right now, thanks to the rains we have had and the wild flowers were stunning as we took our walk. As was the wildlife. We saw chipmunks, a jack rabbit, a coyote and two road runners. These guys appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
The mornings are cool and the evenings so enjoyable. Autumn is here...and we plan to enjoy every moment of it...