By the time Patricia stepped outside into the brisk Virginia air, the leaves were already on fire. She smiled sheepishly at the memories swirling inside her mind and heart. She pulled the crocheted shawl, irregularly shaped from her first attempt at the craft, tighter around her shoulders.
Stepping off the wrap-around porch and following the natural path down to where her husband of nine years stood. Wearing more flannel layers than needed, Jim stood in front of the old drum. The remnants of hours spent raking filled the drum quickly and surrendered to the heat of the controlled fire.
“What?”, Jim asked with a childish smile on his face. “You’re smiling like it’s Christmas morning.”
“Am I?” Angela knew she was.
This was one of her favorite parts of the fall season – the near ritualistic burning of the leaves.
The smell, one of musky, sweet smoke, brushed with a hint of dampness, always offered moments of nostalgia in its embers.