The rains this year have been mild, warm and soft, so they have not yet washed out the brilliant, turning colors of the deciduous trees here in Illinois. As I work at my computer I look out to see indescribably beautiful reds, yellows, greens, and browns vivid outside against the soft gray sky. It seems to make my eyes happy.
I have always loved the change of seasons, summer to fall to winter to spring, and around again as the Earth twirls its God-given orbit around the Sun. When I was a child my paternal grandmother took several daytrips with me up into northern Minnesota and Wisconsin simply to see the beautiful autumn colors flow past the car windows. I followed her habit of being out in nature simply for the sake of being in nature.
Once when I was a young adult I drove my grandmother up to Duluth, Minnesota see the leaves change again. It was nightfall when she saw a sign for a small, itinerant circus set up in the local arena and she insisted on going in even though it would delay our trip back to St. Paul, Minnesota. I do not enjoy circuses in general and I did not like the look of this one in particular, so although I was appalled, I was not surprised when a man dressed in a shabby gorilla suit, climbed up rungs on a pillar to the balcony where we sat. The man in the gorilla suit made a beeline for me, straddled me in my seat, and held me trapped in his hairy, smelly arms. He shook with excitement, mimicking copulation. Then he ran away. My grandmother laughed and laughed as if this were a special treat. I suppose everyone in that small arena laughed. My grandmother scolded me when I complained, saying that I should appreciate the extra attention. It was horrible. I do not recall making any more daytrips with her. She was sadly untrustworthy.
What is it about this age that I have lived to, that my earlier life, which I thought was lived and done with, keeps flowing past in my mind, unbidden, unwelcome, and unhappy, with only the beauty of the autumn colors to comfort me?
Caption: Autumn Colors Flowing Past My Window
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018
Caption: Carla Margaret Throckmorton (Throcky) 1962
Annmarie Throckmorton-young adult in 1970s