By: Andrea Wetzler
There was always this hill that every child knew about. It was steep, but not too long – just perfect for sledding in the winter. I especially loved all the wildflowers in the spring, the crocuses that would pop up in early March and transition into the soft daisies and dandelions of late May.
You were walking through the park. The one on the corner, always a favorite of the eight-year-olds. Mostly field with trees interspersed, there was only one bench where an old woman, white hair in a bun, sat with her small dog.
The leaves were only starting to crunch up. Creating a mosaic blanket, golden yellows, mellow reds, and earthy browns scattered the hill. You sat down at the foot of the hill. The air was slightly chilly, still reminiscing over the summer humidity, and you left your coat unbuttoned.
You closed your eyes, lying down. You didn’t care about the leaves weaving themselves into your hair as your eyes filled with the red stars dancing on the horizon. The sun’s heat left you in a cocoon of warmth normally only afforded for beach days. You almost felt yourself drifting, but your mind was too awake.
You sat up, moving towards standing, but stopped. There was this one leaf stuck to your jacket, a nice yellow maple, green veins visible. The leaf itself was still soft, and you put it to your cheek, feeling the fuzzier backside against your skin.
You slowly circled around where you were sitting until a substantial pile of leaves materialized in front of you. Slowly you weaved the first few together, the long stems twisting about. It became harder to hold as the amount you held increased, the end flopping over as the line became a curve, and the curve a circle.
You didn’t even realize how big of a pile you had collected until the wreathe was completed and still half the pile remained. After delicately tying it together, you got to work on a second. And then a third. Methodically you worked, twisting, weaving, and collecting as you saw fit. Always making sure the color balance was there, yet never too structured.
After you finished the fifth, the sky was already donning its nightly pinkish hues, and the air became cool enough to rebutton your coat. You looked at your wreathes, scattered around you. You put one on your head, and lay back down.
You stayed looking up at the changing sky. By the time the pinks had given way to purples and finally the deep indigoes, you were still there, practically oblivious to the time difference.
You sat up then, cold from the loss of sun, and picked up your wreathes. Carrying two on each arm – minus the one on your head – you walked out of the park. Swinging gate behind you, you continued down the lowly lit street. Leaves brushing against each other, against your feet, you continued back to where you had come.