Month: November 2015
It is Autumn and I am tired,
Let me pull up a warm, golden blanket to rest,
Let the soft, golden sunshine comfort me,
As autumn lets its hair down and sheds its old skin
Until I awaken opening the door to the gentle blows of Arctic air
And everything feels alive to me again.
– Karen Colibri
Like an autumn breeze in the middle of July, you came and calmed my mind
Like an autumn leaf you brought color in my life and flew by
Like a summer day in the middle of January, you made me burn inside
Like a summer night you put fire in my eyes
Like a winter frost in the middle of May you left me cold with nothing to say
Like a winter chill you pushed the warmth away
Like a spring morning in the middle of December you awoke my soul as a day to remember
Like a spring moment you felt balanced, and left me dismembered
– Christy Harris
“The season will bring me to you”
Was it when most of deciduous trees shed their leaves, with leaves changing to reddish or brownish hue before falling? When days get shorter and cooler, the nights get longer, and precipitation gradually increases? Yes, that season; but it has been five years since I have had my first share of it, or when I started calling autumn as fall and felt how it brought my heart this far. Now, looking back at it, I never realized how I grieved to let the seasons that come after that to pass by quickly. But, the more I looked in the clock, flipped the sheet of every calendars, and read daily news papers, the more time, days, weeks, months and years measured down, and the more it trapped and paralyzed me mutually with it.
Five years, and I’m here again—footing on this same tree. The tree has changed, it has grown bigger as it gotten older, but still standing. As of me, I am still the same; nothing varies except for one thing: I am lonely—lonelier than I used to be. Living a satisfactory life, but not functioning emotionally. I am trapped, trapped by her memory, her smile, her radiance, her liveliness, silliness. I can’t get her out of my system. Now I am, again, here—reminiscing as memories flashing back.
It was a bright, sunny day; I had just gotten off the bus and was walking all the way to my home. At first, I didn’t notice that the leaves were starting to shed, and their colors were about to change, maybe over the next month or so. Then I remembered that my instructor from photography class had asked me and the rest of the class to take some photos of early autumn. Even though the trees had not fully shed, I thought what the heck. I took my digital camera and started to take some pictures. I kept walking and turning left and right, stepping back and forth. I was so busy minding my own business that I did not detect something was approaching me from behind. I heard someone screamed, but as I turned to face it, it was too late. I was already hit. I fell down on the ground. I closed my eyes, stunned from that sudden crash. I got pissed and had the thought to yell at the person who had hit me; it was a very wide place and if he simply had to hit something, why not hit a tree instead of me? I started pulling myself up from the ground, as I felt someone extended an arm to help me up. I heard a soft, yet full, voice that kept repeating the word, “sorry”; it was a girl’s voice. As I turned to face my killer, my anger melted and drained from my face. Her face brightened as the sunlight from the background radiated all over her. Her rounded eyes seemed to glitter; her face, which appeared concerned, was immensely similar to a fairies likeness that kept illuminating from the forefront of the sun’s light. I was bewitched. For the first time, my heart beat frantically, nervously. I was not aware of how long I had remained stunned and bewildered. Nor had I noticed the fact that I was lying down—not until she saved me from it: saved me from looking like an idiot. She held me and helped me up on my feet. And all I did was look into her face and just allow her to hold me as she stared upward at me. I was speechless until she snapped her fingers in an attempt to verify that I still had my senses, and woke me up from day dream wandering, and then said “I’m really sorry, I didn’t know that there was someone walking in the middle of this road, plus this road has a right turn sign. You should have walked on the walk way rather than on the road way. You are lucky that it was just me who hit you with my old bike. But really, I am sorry.”
I saw that I had actually, and unknowingly, stepped quit a ways off the walkway and had proceeded well into the street, having been distracted by the beautiful scenery that surrounded me. There was obviously no defense for what I now realized to be my mistake “It’s ok, sure thing. I am fine. See? My arms and legs are still working. You’re right; walk on the walkway next time”. I timidly smiled as I raise my arms and kicked my legs to show her that I was okay.
“What are you doing here? I mean, you don’t look familiar at all. You seem new here. What brings you to a remote and wooded place like this? ” I asked, while helping her with her bicycle.
“Wheh! Slow down. That’s a lot of questions.” she smiled then continued “I always come here, but only during fall to paint…”
“You’re an artist then” I cut in as she goes on talking “In some way, I guess I am, still studying actually – fine arts.” I smiled, and asked more. “That’s pretty interesting. So, where are you staying? ” She was already standing beside her bike and seemed ready to take off. “I am staying at this B&B, a Bed and Breakfast that is located just a few miles away from here. If you are a resident here I think you already know where it is.” She readied herself onto her bicycle, “I should go. Again, I’m really sorry for hitting on you…” “Hitting on me? ” I interrupted, again, but out of surprise this time. “Oh, not that hitting on you kind of thing but ahmmm, almost killing you.” she smiled shyly yet seemed taunting in her reply. “I’m still alive, luckily. It is nice being hit by you, I mean, meeting you.” “So, I guess I’ll just see you later then. Well, that’s if it’s cool with you” I strongly said. I kind of wanted to beg her to say yes, because at that moment I was not so sure if she would say yes or no. That is, until I got her reply, and it jolted me, “You know where I am staying.” Then she pedaled her bike away from me. “So, is that a yes? ” I paused, and then remembered, “Oh! You did not give me your name! ” I yelled out to her as she quickly grew more and more distant while rushing down the road. I kind of shrieked, hoping that she could clearly hear what I was asking her, because she was already well away from me. “Yes and its Kate.” She answered back without looking at me, or, I guess, while hiding her smiles.
From that time on, I’ve been visiting her from where she is staying. We hang out together almost everyday I’ve showed her around the place and messed with her a little every time she paints. I even took her home to meet my family; they get along easily since she had this quality of making people like her. I guess it’s because she was always positively radiant, and has a remarkable sense of humor. In fact, she was really funny. No wonder why my silent world rocked when she came along.
I was already on her door step at two in the afternoon when she came out and closed the door behind her. I handed her eight white tulips. I wasn’t sure if she really would love those flowers; she never told me what kind of flowers she liked but I was hoping that it would brighten her afternoon. “Hey, thank you. I’m sucker for tulips” she somehow grinned then took the flowers back into her room.
I can still remember every thing; it seemed like it just happened yesterday, although it has been five years. We were happy at that time. Even now, I can feel her laughter in the winds, and see her smile in the skies.
We laid flat on the grass and just looked up in the sky, forming visions of anything in the clouds, or simply imagined silly things here on earth. She kept her eyes up while I fixed mine to her direction. “Do you see the cloud that looks like a bird? Isn’t it beautiful? ” she asked. “Very beautiful” I whispered back while staring at her. “Really? ” she suddenly asked then looked on my direction, catching me a little off guard. “Yes, really” I said, and smiled at her. I wanted to touch her face at that time, but I just couldn’t do it. She was pretty near but seemed so out of reach. I don’t know, maybe because I was scared to make a move. She might think that I was being too forward, and, of course, I would never want to leave her with that kind of impression on me. It might sound crazy, but in a short period of time of knowing her and being with her, I was already whipped, and I still feel the same way up until now. She moved the very soul of me, but I just could not confess my feelings at that time. I didn’t even know if she liked me, so I preferred to be friends with her rather than nothing at all.
Right after watching the skies, I took her to this place that people rarely visited; and, if there were people, most of them were couples, just walking, or sitting on the bench near the lake and talking. “Come on” she beckoned at me and grabbed my hands then led me to the lake. She took off her sandals and headed in the water. I did the same too and followed her; we just stood there and felt the water on our knees. “If you will live again, what do you want yourself to be? Anything, except being human.” she asked while looking far away in the lake and wearing a smile on her lips. I looked at her and answered the question she asked me. “A lake” she looked at me and asked “Why? ” “I want to give tranquility to those who are troubled, happiness to those who are sad, and memories to those who forget.” I answered simply and winked at her. “Okay, I will remember that” she winked back.
Time seemed to move so fast when I was with her; it was already late afternoon and a long way to walk. She was not even bothered though, as if she was delighted with my company. We were walking side by side on the way home; it was funny how she could not help her self—talking about the trees, the winds and the skies. She looked carefree as she stretched her arms to feel the little breeze of the winds. I was walking ahead of her when I noticed that she had just stopped. She looked tired as she sat underneath this rotted, old tree-I guess tired from our long walk from the lake. I moved near her and turned my back, and I squatted a little. “What are you doing? ” she surprisingly asked. “A piggy back, come on, hop in” I invited “you look tired, if you will continue walking you will hurt your feet. It’s okay, don’t worry, I can carry you. I’m sure you’re not that heavy.” I kind of grinned, and then she accepted the invitation. “I hope I’m not.” she chuckled and wrapped her arms around me. “Kate, you never answered your question. I mean, the one that you asked me when we where in the lake” I asked as I tightened my grasp on her. “I’ll tell you but then I will have to kill you” she smiled. “You almost got me killed, remember? ” I replied back. “Did I? ” “You will know my answer in full autumn” said she. She did made me think a lot that moment and do a little guessing too but I knew that I needed to wait and hear it from her.
We were already meters away from the B&B where she was staying, and she had already climbed off my back and we had gone back to walking side by side during that time. I guess it was almost seven in the evening when we had almost reached home and then it started to rain. We stopped at a nearby shed and waited for the rain to stop. She elevated her hand and cupped the drops of rain into her palm and then sprinkled them on me. “You…” I laughed with surprised then we both ended up sprinkling each other on the face. I was so caught up in the moment that I ran my hands over her face, briefly touching her. I could not stopped myself anymore, I knew, I needed to fall. I touched her cheek and gently laid a kiss on her lips, soft and warm. It’s too late to think of how she would react by that time on. I had already kissed her and, to my surprised, she kissed me back. I’m not sure how long we stayed there, but I did not care. I only knew that she was with me and nothing else mattered. ”The rain just stopped” she pulled slowly away then gave me a quick kiss on my temple. We continued walking but without talking, not uttering any words, except that now we were holding each other’s hand.
From that night on, I became more cheerful. It’s funny how our bodies and our personalities react when we are flooded with emotions. I felt so much love in me that I could have almost busted from drinking it in; I almost forgot that she was not staying long; that she will then leave. But I only thought on what was there, on what we could share, and I just savored each day with her. We spent a lot more time together after that night. Bliss was all I felt until the time that what I feared to come was already right before my eyes, but what could I do, she had to go back.
It was full autumn, but she was leaving. She came to my house early; spending her days with me and my family, who, at that time, she had already become close with. And, in the afternoon, she sometimes took me to the place where we first met and the other places were we had been. “I almost got you killed here” she said while standing in the middle of the road where she once crashed into me. “Did I tell you that you had a lovely smile? And that you were funny when you looked like an idiot? But you were not an idiot, only dazed” she continued talking “I was hoping that you would ask for my name—eventually you did” she smiled that time but looked sad. “What can I do, you bewitched me from that day on” I smiled back at her and held her hand. We continued our walk from every place we’ve been until we reach the lake. “I still want to be a lake, Kate” I whispered. “Then I will keep on coming back here to seek calmness, blissfulness, and rekindled memories” she whispered back.
We were already walking back home. She tried to be cheerful even though we both knew that the other was in pain, but I tried to look natural and calm, because I didn’t wish to make things harder for her. As always, she sat underneath that same old rooted tree after our long walk from the lake. The leaves were fully shed, and the leaves were all reddish and brownish. I knew that she liked fall. She loved it, and I don’t know why. She called me and asked me to sit beside her “Do you want to know a secret? ” she spoke coolly. “What secret? ” I was awed. “The reason why I love the fall and why I keep coming back here? ” she gently said but while looking away. I was paying attention to her every word as she continued “When I was a little girl, my parents brought me here. It was fall that time. Their marriage was, I guess, a little shaky, but still they both decided to try it out. There was one time that I kind of got lost. I was testing this new bike that my dad bought me, but I went too far from where we were staying. The pedal kind of loosened its screw, so I fixed it. And, forgetting that I was in the middle of the road, I turned around and saw a car coming. I froze and could not seem to move from where I was standing. Then I saw this boy running and he pulled me. He saved me. He saved my life. I was still shocked from what happened and cried and cried. My bike was already crashed on the side then this boy talk to me and told me that it’s okay because he’s there. He let me sit on this same tree we’re sitting on right now. He even walked me home, and did that piggy back thing you did with me. I can not seem to forget that—when that boy said good bye, he told me that he’ll be back in the afternoon, but my parents were pretty scared from the accident and decided to leave. I never even got to say goodbye, I never even got his name, and I don’t even know if he went back in the afternoon to see me.” I was stunned by what Kate had just opened up to me. I didn’t know if it was just coincidence, because I was that boy. “I came back Kate, I did” just like me, she was stunned, “Sean? ” she slowly uttered “So I finally get to know his name now.” She cried, and I just wrapped my arms around her, holding her tight. We then talked about what happened with us after that day when we had first met. We laughed about how things had gone and where they had led us. I can even recall everything I told her at that time, not even knowing that things could eventually end up the way they did—from our first meeting to our second meeting, and from coming back or running away. “Kate, isn’t it funny on how we always meet? ” “What do you mean? ” she asked backed. “The first time we met, you almost got hit by a car until I pulled you out of the way; the second time we met, you almost got me killed when you crashed your bike into me” I said, then she refrain “Accident prone, huh? ” she laughed when she said that, not taking the topic seriously. She stood up from where we were sitting and grabbed my hands with hers. She then moved us closer to the tree—somewhat tracing her fingers into it, as if looking for something. She then exclaimed “There it is” I looked at it and saw a name carved on the tree. Her name with a heart carved below it. “Oh my, I already saw this one last fall, I even took a shot of this and presented it on my photo class exhibit.” I said, while surprised. “I was here last fall, and before leaving, I stopped here and carved my name.” Just like me, she was also surprised. We had already met before. We may have not seen each other face to face for some time, but our presence was there, and we still connected in some ways—even if we were almost totally strangers “I think if you walked a little faster that day, you might have seen me here. I think you are that guy I saw who was taking some pictures along the way” she continued. “And you are the one I saw driving that jaguar” I added while gathering the memories of how we kind of crossed paths. “So we where both here that day” “Hey it’s already full fall. I think I can tell you my secret now—about what I want to be in my next life” she sweetly smiled and cuddle a little closer “Oh, yeah, so what do you want to be when you come back to this Earth? ” I eagerly asked her. I saw her writing my name below the heart that she carved last fall and heard her answer ”A tree, so that I can stay forever with the one I love”
We stayed there until evening, but time always runs so fast with us that we always end the evenings with goodnight, too soon. “I will leave tomorrow afternoon, I guess I will wait for you here. I should see you before I will go, so be here early, okay” then she softly laid a kissed on me. “Of course I will come early; I will drive you to the station.” Said I, then I embraced her in my arms.
If only I had not said goodbye that night. Things might have changed. Things might have gone the other way around. When I went to fetch her in the morning, Mrs. Park told me that she had already left 10 minutes before I got there, and that her dad picked her up. “You can still reach her kid; I think I heard her dad say that they will dropp by on this antique shop in town” I drove the car as fast as I could and drove all the way to the antique shop. I was standing on the other road in front the shop. I saw her and her dad, who was, then, leaving the scene. “Kate! ” I called her name. She saw me and cried. Her dad, not knowing who I was, reacted and gripped her, even as she struggled to get away. In response, she ran towards me and had crossed half the road when, out of nowhere, a speeding car hit her. Everything happened so fast, I was shocked, my heart sunk. I ran towards her and held her in my arms. There was blood; I didn’t know what I felt. Looking at her like that drove my sanity away. It was my fault. I cried and screamed and held her. “I can’t let go, I just can’t let go.” She was only a little conscious and half breathed my name… that was the last word I heard from her. How can I forget? How can I not remember? It seemed as if only an instance had passed, but the ambulance was already there. Her dad took her away as the medics assisted, while a few people in town merely watched. I ran, on foot, to the hospital where they took her, and I waited outside the ER. Her dad told me that she had a 50/50 chance of survival; he told me that he never liked the idea of Kate always coming back to my town, considering the accident that had happened to her before. Night came and still no news from the doctor. Kate’s dad told me to go home and to come back. I never wished to leave her side, but her dad insisted.
Early morning, I went back to the hospital, hoping to hear news about Kate. She was gone. The doctor said that she did not make it and that her parents took her body back home. Earth seemed to go down on me, I was totally crushed. I felt dead inside. Then the doctor handed me a letter from Kate’s dad “I know our daughter loves you, but you need to forget and move on, she would wish the same thing for you.” How am I going to forget her, even if the mind can not remember, the heart will. The love I still feel for her was not just a simple love, it is more than that. I love her; I didn’t know how to live a normal life again. How can I function at all without her? How can I face the morning with out her smile; the night without her touch, and see the future, knowing that she was not there anymore?
“I’m here as I stand-you just flew away and took my heart away with you and left me with bruised kisses beneath my cheek- tell me how could I forget? ”
Years passed, but still, I could not get over her. I tried dating, but my heart could not beat again. It had been long dead, every since the day she died. She took my heart when she left. Every day, I struggled without her, but, with her memory in my heart; I remained alive by just having her love as mine to hold on to. I visited the place where Kate and I used to watch together. The lake still looked the same, couples still hung around there for their little walks and personal talks. I saw a girl on the lake holding her sandals and feeling the water on her feet. I thought it was Kate that I saw. I ran nearer to the water, but then I saw this guy approaching her and then he held her. I was hallucinating, again. I always see her face everywhere; I think I am going mad.
I walked away and went back home to bid goodbye to my family. I’m going back to the City, fall is over now. It is time to face another season, another life, and another year, without her. Before driving all the way through the town I stopped by to see our tree. I took my camera and did some shots. While visiting our sacred place for one last time, I made an addition to the writing that Kate carved the tree “Kate loves Sean” “no matter where in the world I’m going I will always come back here with you Kate, just here with you” I pressed down on my tears and collect myself again, but then I heard someone from behind me “Just here, with me? ” I turned around and saw Kate smiling at me “Kate? ” I was astounded. “Am I a little late? ” she cried and wrapped her arms around me. I held her so close, there’s no letting go this time. “You are just in time” I just kissed her and kissed her more. She then explained everything to me about what had happened that day after her accident. She said that her dad took her home. She had amnesia after she revived from being comatose for almost a year. Her dad kept it from me because he was scared of losing his only daughter, but as her memories came back, her dad finally came to believe that it has to do with her strong love for me and also because I never gave up on loving her. “When I had amnesia I kept dreaming about this place, the lake, the trees and you. I even painted them and your face. You were totally a stranger to me but my heart aches every time I dream of you. The doctor told my dad to bring me back here. Three years after the accident, dad brought me here during fall. Little by little I regained some of my lost memory. Especially about the lake, it made me feel that I am found. Then all the lost memories came flooding” I brushed her tears away from her cheeks. What matters most to me is that she is alive, and she’s here with me—just with me “I went in the lake hours ago. I even saw someone who looked like you, but it can’t be—she was with someone.” I recalled “It was me, see what I’m wearing? It was my cousin, my personal chaperon here who was with me. You already know dad, he doesn’t want me to travel alone after that accident.” she slightly giggled and held her white dress a little higher to her knees, mimicking the girl I saw in the lake, but minus the taking off of sandals. “I love you Kate” I whispered to her ears, she then cupped my cheek both palm and kissed me and half breathed “I too love you Sean” then bit my lips. I stopped and asked “No more goodbyes? ” she put her arms around my neck and whispered back “No more goodbyes, only hellos.”
– Catty Alonzo
1950 Ed Harris (actor)
1939 James A Naismith (creator of basketball)
On This Day:
1987 South African Airways Boeing 747 crashes into the Indian Ocean. 159 die.
Have a good Saturday, 28th November
From mountain high to valley low, the warmth of springs thaw runoff comes clear cold water from the melting snow.
Spring rain, cool and clear, mist and fog, early morning’s dew, creeks, rivers, lakes renew.
Though mud stained from the thaw, the water soon will clear, life sustaining, life anew.
With summer weather comes light or heavy rains, sprinkle, mist or fog, life sustaining, life anew.
With autumn arrives the cold, then frost, soon after winter follows, sleet and snow, water turns to ice.
Though covered with ice and winters snow, the water in creeks, rivers and lakes renew until springs thaw, the water still flows.
Whether spring, summer, autumn or winter, water, life sustaining, life anew.
– Alvin Shaut