A Mysterious Thread

Peninsula College photo by Mary Dessein
It is the most gorgeous fall I can remember.
Now that could mean this is the only fall I can remember. It could mean I am truly amazed by the flamboyant oranges, golds, yellows, russets, ambers, corals, titians, hennas, coppers, and saffrons I see across the park in the one hundred foot tall cottonwoods and maples.

It could mean I have been so focused on going, doing, finishing, scheduling, herding, supervising, parenting, balancing, cleaning, and meeting that I did not take time to look around me. No matter how the wind blew or how high the tawny maple leaves piled up in the corners of my carport, I had tasks to complete, dawdling in wonder was not on that list.

In the fall that I started first grade, I could hardly wait for the first day of school. My mother bought me a dress. It came in a plastic bag, was folded neatly and flatly like the shirts on tables at Penney’s. She probably got it there actually. I clearly recall the pale steel blue background with little gold and dark blue pinwheel designs in an orderly pattern of rows, similar to a chain link fence. I kicked through the leaves as Mom walked me the nine blocks to Central Elementary School, delivered me to Miss Winan’s first grade classroom, then took my little sister’s hand and walked back home.

In driving southeast on I-90 through Sammamish, by Preston, over Snoqualmie Pass, alongside Keechelus Lake, and past Cle Elum a few days ago, I again thought, “This is the most gorgeous fall I can remember.”

How much have I skimmed by without taking the time to really see? Oh my, I don’t think I want to start a list. What I do want to do is start anew. Hear the Canadian geese flying over head and stop to listen to their honking.

Ritter Ridge, OR photo by Mary Dessein

See the jagged edges of ice along Camas Creek, white against the dark creek bed; watch the fuchsia leaf dangling below the hanging basket on my porch by a mysterious thread twisting in the breeze; watch a toddler pulling at the handles of a paper grocery bag and laughing in delight while she sits in the shopping cart; pull my car off to the side of the road of Ritter Ridge and gaze into the forever distance over the hills at the gathering soft pink and orange dusk; play fetch-the-stick with my grand-puppies and be in their joy, not my to-do list.

Indeed, this is the most gorgeous fall I can remember.


  • Meg Philp

    November 19, 2018 at 5:04 am Reply

    I do miss the autumn living here, in the tropics. It was so lovely to kick the leaves around when I was last there in your neck of the woods, Mary. Cheers!

    • Mary

      November 19, 2018 at 5:28 am Reply

      Autumn, a change of seasons, and of perspective. Thanks for your thoughts, Meg

  • robin dachenhausen

    November 19, 2018 at 7:15 am Reply

    sometimes life gives us true experiences to enjoy. it is life that can keep us from it. the trick is to find the balance.

  • Joy Ross

    November 21, 2018 at 6:24 am Reply

    It has been an amazing fall……….and your words make it even more so!!! Good to stop and notice and to read…..hugs!! and celebrate Joy

    • Mary

      November 21, 2018 at 8:14 pm Reply

      Thank you, Joy. Happy Thanksgiving~

  • Joan Cronk

    November 22, 2018 at 9:57 pm Reply

    Memories of those glorious fall colors still linger in my heart! Once again you’ve given me a beautiful picture of you, Mom and sister walking to Central Elementary School. Long ago times but forever precious keepsakes. Happy Thanksgiving dear friend! Hugs!!

    • Mary

      November 22, 2018 at 10:09 pm Reply

      Blessings upon you, Joan. I hope your journeys are lovely ones. Thanks so much for reading. Happy Thanksgiving to you~

  • caroline baertsch

    November 22, 2018 at 11:04 pm Reply

    Love this Mary..i can feel the cool crisp air on my cheeks while reading your description!

    • Mary

      November 23, 2018 at 10:13 pm Reply

      Thank you! Delighted to hear it.

  • Judith, Storyteller

    November 25, 2018 at 10:25 pm Reply

    I love the way you framed this and called my attention to so many wonders of nature — and what needs NOT be on the To Do list. Thank you.

    • Mary

      November 26, 2018 at 12:26 am Reply

      Thank you for reading, Judith. I am delighted it worked for you. Happy Holidays~

  • Donna Rudiger

    December 3, 2018 at 9:43 pm Reply

    Mary….you could be a travel writer too! Glad you had time to travel to Oregon!

    • Mary

      December 5, 2018 at 11:46 pm Reply

      Thank you, Donna. Great to see you last weekend.

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