Nothing gold can stay

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Christy Elkins


There is something about the fall season that pulls at one’s heartstrings. Maybe it is the rustling of leaves as you walk from your front porch to your car. Or the air so brisk as it takes your breath for only a moment as soon as you open the door. The smell of a wood fireplace, pumpkin flavored beverages, and listening to a football game from the speakers of an old radio make fall warm and inviting.

To fully soak in the goodness of all that autumn brings and then quickly departs, we traveled to the local corn maze and pumpkin patch last week with the children and their friends. They leapt from the vehicles quickly, crisp leaves crunching underneath small feet, to roll in the mounds of hay reserved for a hay climb, the run their hands through the corn feed box, and to lovingly push one another on the wooden merry go round. We boarded the small cow train, mostly reserved for children (I am fairly certain I was the heaviest “cow” aboard!) and began our journey through the corn maze at an astonishing pace of about five miles per hour. And while I initially feared one of my three children would toy with the notion that jumping overboard would be a good idea, they sat still and gazed at the changing leaves, waved excitedly to other passengers, and kept a running tally of how many pumpkins they viewed with their own two eyes.

It is in these quiet moments of childhood wonder that one is able to sit back and observe. What will they remember about the fall seasons of childhood? I remember wearing jeans with holes in the knees, riding bikes until dark, and eating tons of leftover candy from trick or treating hidden under my bed. My tales of fall will be different from their stories, as they cannot play outside without an adult present and can only eat candy that is pre-packaged from family. Gone are the days of door to door visits with plastic pumpkins full to the brim and the glow of flashlights dancing happily around the neighborhoods, flooded with kids in disguise.

I watched my son toss his favorite boots aside and run as fast as he could to play on a slide that was entirely too high, only to see if he could make it to the top on his own, and my daughter collecting the prettiest leaves from the ground. I felt my youngest son snuggle a little tighter whenever a crisp Autumn breeze would ruffle his hair. I know that even though times have changed, kids still have the same love for the fall season. They all want to sit on bales of hay pulled by a tractor, pick out the biggest pumpkin of the patch, and try apple cider for the first time.

Though nothing gold can stay, making new memories and remembering the old is priceless.