Ahh, the chill of the air and crisp blue sky indicated that autumn descended with a whoosh. To celebrate, the benefactor planned to trip into the forest to examine the metallic, shivering leaves of the Aspen trees. While the benefactor readied ingredients for the evening’s dinner, we were asked to organize ourselves and make sure we were appropriately dressed. Apparently, even this was asking too much, as one of us forgot a jacket, and we left our home 45 minutes later than our original time of departure for no good reason, the benefactor gathering only 3 out of the 4 of us at any given time.
The drive through the mountains was glorious, the trees putting on a fantastic show of fall gold. After a slight argument between the benefactor and the eldest female regarding who should control the musical content for the journey (the benefactor thought it best to just concede for the moment), the trip proceeded smoothly to the ski basin.
Once there, the elder children convinced the benefactor that perhaps they should go on a short hike to an aspen meadow. Even though the initial descent from the road worried the younger children, the benefactor consented, and they made their made into the forest. Not having spent a comfortable amount of time with nature, the youngest female was thoroughly convinced that she was: A. Going to die, and that B. This would happen at the hands of a bear. Every twinging or cracking branch was a signal that eminent danger approached. The elder children did not help by telling her that should a bear approach, they would sit her and the younger male on their shoulders to make themselves appear larger while hoping for the best. It calmed no one.
As was his habit, the younger male complained nonstop, mumbling how the elder children kept dangling them with the prospect of the meadow being, ‘very close’. He also was very concerned with his brand new, white sneakers that were now sloshing through damp ground. However, after thirty minutes of trampling through the woods off trail, the benefactor began to understand and commiserate with his frustration. The younger male also kept stopping to gather objects, pawning them off for the benefactor to carry as his parting gifts for home, including bark from a tree hit by lightning, moss, a plant resembling bamboo, and a large salt stone. Eventually she had to put her foot down and declare that no more would be taken, as she had run out of arm space.
Finally, after what seemed like an endless journey, the benefactor and children crossed over into what was simply a sublime, uninhibited, and beautiful blank field surrounded by Aspens. They posed for photos and picked flowers. Eventually, as they always do, the males ended up in a javelin contest, throwing the younger male’s sharp walking stick through the air at each other. Whence the benefactor gave them the stare of certain death, they finally ceased. She was more frightening than the possibility of a bear.
The younger children finally seemed at ease with their surroundings, until a raspy sound from a bush triggered them to fear a potential rattlesnake. They did not take solace in the fact that the sound did not return, nor that the elder female was almost certain the noise was given off by a nearby bird.
While hiking back, the younger female became the only casualty of the day, losing her balance on the rocks, and then later tripping over a stick. With the second, the benefactor merely held her in her arms and told her to cry until she felt ready to walk. After several minutes, she dried her tears, put on a look of determination, and pretty much forgot she was injured.
The only contentious moment came when they reached the car and realized they would not have time to explore the ski basin, which for the younger children strictly meant scavenging for food. Only after the benefactor swore to stop by their favorite general store to gather some light snacks did they finally agree to get into the car. Ten minutes into the drive they were fast asleep.
Arriving home, after obtaining their favorite nibbles, the children gathered around the media box to relax as the benefactor curled up outside in warm blankets upon her soft hammock to read. She reflected on the beauty of the day, and how blessed they were to live in such a pulchritudinous environment. She inhaled the scent of fall’s sweet surrender, and felt her heart expand as high as the sky.