It is one of those ethereal autumn mornings. The morning sunlight blankets the fields like a golden syrup, and looks thick enough to drip off the trees and buildings. Though an almost otherworldly light, it is welcoming, even seductive. It is light like thick warm dew.
I watch two of my seven children crunch off through the fallen leaves in the front yard on the beginning of their trek to the school bus stop. As they step out from under the trees, the sun pours its glow out upon them. They are transformed into delicate, gracefully moving, intrinsic parts of a rare and beautiful day.
The air is crisp but there is no wind. Standing on the porch I can smell the dry leaves, the damp earth, and the green grass, combined in the fantastic paradoxical aroma of autumn. I step off the porch into a pocket of sunlight that has found its way through the trees. It engulfs me instantly. It feels nearly regenerative. A surge of warmth rushes through me and I know I have been seduced into the miracle that the sun has worked on this day. I am now a fitting part of the day. It is a natural communion.
I walk over to the driveway to pat my German shepherd on the head and drop a few calming words, as she stares intently across the field at the old yellow school bus about to swallow my kids up out of the day. She watches the bus roll out of sight; then goes off to sniff other mysteries down the fencerow. A part of the celebration is complete.
I hear my one year old daughter yelling from her crib upstairs. I must go back into the house and bring what I have felt of the day to her in whatever way I can. After I have diapered, dressed, and filled with warm cereal, the dainty joy that takes most of my time these days; I put her in her walker in a pool of sunlight below my back kitchen window. Now we are all under the same sun. We are joined in a single day.
A day like today is full of comfort. A man can stand in the sun of a day like this and forget about everything else for a while. It is safe to become emotionally swept up in the natural solace of a day. I will not forget any of the responsibilities, troubles, or weaknesses that are part of the dignity of my humanity, for any longer than a day. The night will see to that. It is certain to make this day a memory.
It is late autumn. We could have a blizzard and below zero temperatures tomorrow. I am glad. I may enjoy a communion with this day, only because I know it will end. Give me an eternity of single days, not a single eternal day. I want to remember my name.
T M Malo