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Things seemed so clean and crisp in the autumn. During the evening, a heavy dew would descend on the earth and plants, drenching them by sunrise. The garden-spider's web became a droplet-adorned work of symmetry. A freshly picked apple from the orchard was ice cold, extra crunchy and sweet. The heavy breath of the cattle billowed through their nostrils like steam from a locomotive. That chilled, cleansing air was so pure it almost hurt to inhale it. The sun would have to work harder now and spend more time burning dampness off the water-soaked foliage. By noon the breeze would kick up and the drying leaves on the corn stalks would rattle against each other as if to draw attention to themselves and the importance they had on our livelihood. Fall brought about a time of reflection of the earlier growing season, the anxieties, hopes, and uncertainties. While those on the outside judged the year's success or failure on the size of the crop, the true measure of accomplishment was what was gained within; something learned by me at a much later time.

As if to be in competition with the opening portions of the day, evening had its own wonderful way of closing the daily chapter. After working since dawn, the sun would retreat to the western horizon where an explosion of oranges would illuminate that part of the heavens. The eastern sky would change from the bluest blue to a calm, deep indigo. The sun, trying to rest its head on the horizon, would gently be tucked in by the twilight and disappear from view, while the evening star, appearing in the southwest, would make its debut; sharper and brighter than ever.

Then the eastern sky, jealous of my neglect, would catch the corner of my eye. Turning, I could see something through the trees on the ridge east of the house. Standing in awe and eyes open wide, I would wait breathless. Not a sound could be heard; an almost eerie quiet dominated space and time. The clear darkness would give way to such a soft brightness in the east. Proceeding on its march to the heavens, this moon, unlike any others, was a well-kept, hidden secret throughout the preceding seasons. So large it hardly fit in the sky and bright enough to almost let me distinguish colors, this was indeed a very special orb, the harvest moon my mom told me. Extra stars were brought in from other galaxies to help punctuate the evening's performance and further overwhelm me. The grandeur of an autumn day was composed and executed. It was up to me to archive and cherish it deep inside.


by Steve Twaddle

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