There is this one tree in the neighbor's yard across the street. It changes color before all the others and has, for the past four years, indicated the approach of autumn. I see it clearly every day as I leave for work, as it is almost directly across from the entrance to our driveway. I can also see it from the kitchen window as I wash dishes in the sink. It turns a bright red and has always made me smile when I see it change. It's not the kind of tree that believes in subtle or slow change. One day it is green and the next day there are bright red spots popping out all over the place. I laughed the first year, because the sudden display of red and green reminded me to start my Christmas shopping.
Yesterday was the first day I noticed the tree had started popping out the usual red display. At first I smiled at the thought of autumn leaves, crisp air, and maybe a fire in our fireplace. Then I remembered the conversation Steve and I had about the fireplace. We weren't even going to have it inspected this year, since we'd have an infant who was starting to mobilize, even if it was just to roll from front to back. We felt it would be too hard to watch a baby and Sam to make sure they didn't hurt themselves, so we planned to leave the baby lock on the front door to the fireplace for this year...and possibly next. Suddenly, as though someone flipped a switch, I was sobbing at the sight of that wonderful tree.
I'm losing my mind, I think. This weekend it is four months since losing Alex. In some ways I am ready to move on and enjoy my life. And then I see a damn tree and I can't control where my thoughts take me. There is no rhyme or reason to it. There is no way to figure out where I will break down next. But Autumn is here. I guess I can curl up in front of a fire and look out at that tree and cry a bit...nobody will mind...will they?