When November Comes

Everything was still. The frost was sparkling in the morning sun. I could see my breath.

I wedged myself behind the wheel of my mom’s little red sports car, and sped off to the local coffee shop. I love to drive the old roads. They’re quiet, and scarcely-traveled, and wind and roll through my hometown like a carnival ride.

I lived in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, from the time I was 11 to 17-years old. The social politics of high school notwithstanding, it was a beautiful place to grow up. The streets were all back roads. They were narrow and slow, topped by a canopy of leaves. The sky stretched for miles.

I rolled down the window on the drive home from the coffee shop. The bare trees and frost were ample evidence that autumn had fallen. The clouds were thin high. The air was crisp.

I was cradling a medium house blend in my left hand, and shifting and steering with my right, when I spotted a mirage in the road. A huge, old maple tree was shedding its leaves like rain. All of its neighbors were bare, but this tree was reaching over the pavement and shaking off its summer coat right there before my eyes. It looked like it was crying huge, orange, floating tears.

It just takes me a few days to grow restless in the stillness of the suburbs. I relaxed just a little bit as I pulled back into the city: the wide avenues, the lights, the rush. Still, bracing myself this morning for the whirlwind of the holidays, I miss that tree.

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