Somewhere in Maryland, not far from D.C., you’re picking pumpkins in a field. The wind is gently blowing the leaves over the field, fall’s first victims. Earthy tones of yellow, orange, brown are in stark contrast to the pale blue in the sky. Your wool sweater, the sleeves of which you have pulled down over your hands to keep them warm, as your smile does the trick for the rest of the scene, its fiber follows the grain of the wheat. Grain in grain and grin provoking grin. Muffled sunlight hits the corse bark of a walnut tree, reflects your hair’s shiny red hue and transposes it into warm light all around. Off in the distance someone’s driving on a gravel road, American Pie is audible, albeit only faintly. When we were kids we used to collect chestnuts and fallen leaves and we would make them into little art projects. The transformation was negligible, but it was beauty out of death; a new lease on life. A hedgehog crosses the field to see what the others have been up to. A crow taunts the scarecrow in the middle of the field, so complacent in its task, more inaction than action. The squirrel is deciding which ratio of hazelnut to walnut it should have in its home. No decision is required of me. Your smile pierces through everything, it touches whatever living being comes into contact with it. We used to skip stones on the river, we went hiking, branches of trees were our trophies. At the ocean, we used to collect seashells, in the mountains held a contest spotting Edelweiss. Let me take you in my arms now, before the snow covers everything. Before everything is white: a new lease on life.

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