Fall became my favorite season the moment I was able to identify it and write about it. When I was a kid some of my most enjoyable moments were during thanksgiving break. I come from a big family and to many of my first and second cousins my mother is known as “Big Aunty.” She’s like super mom to everyone. So during any school break my cousins would come from New York and we would do what cousins did. Build forts with blankets, make paper planes, annoy our siblings and wreck the house. During thanksgiving our house was no different. It was autumn and the yellow and orange leaves were falling impatiently to the ground. What better way to keep your property clean than to have a bunch of energetic kids sweep and bag nature’s givings?! And that’s what we did. The crunch underneath my boots was like music to my ears as I imitated the sounds with my mouth. I would take small steps and then big ones. I would leap off of the sidewalk and break the leaves that were once whole into tiny pieces. When we were finished our duties at home we would take our services to the school yard across the street. The piles there were huge! We would take turns raking the leaves and then have them consume our small bodies one by one. Hours would go by and nothing seemed to stop us. In those moments we were just rascals enjoying nature. The colors, the sounds. There was beauty. Not even the pointed stems from the leaves getting stuck in my jacket were enough to make me go home. I remember as I got older I began to see the true beauty in the season. So much that I began collecting the leaves, pressing them into my journals so that I could seal their freshness into a ziplock bag. As a big kid now nothing takes me back to those fall days like the sound of crunching leaves. If ever I’m walking down the sidewalk I purposely walk a path where I know I’m sure to crunch them up. It warms a special place in my heart. Autumn leaves.