Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 90: Fall and Family

(Ivy and I walk side by side down a forest path as a brisk breeze occasionally blows past. Many of the leaves have changed to oranges, yellows, and browns, and several of them lie discarded on the forest floor, littering the path. They crunch under our feet as we walk along.)

Ivy (The Companion) It’s so nice out here. Summer may be my favorite season, but there’s something about this weather that’s so satisfying.

Mom (Me): It’s cozy season — time to curl up with a blanket and a pumpkin spice latte and watch the world change around you. It’s very pretty this time of year.

Ivy (surprised): Pumpkin spice, really? Are we one of *those* girls now?

Mom (embarrassed): I had my first one ever a couple weeks ago… Honestly, it was really nice. I’ll definitely get another one sometime.

Ivy (laughing): Haha! Alright then, pumpkin spice it is.

(Behind us, a few paces back, Lark and Aura walk together through the leaves Ivy and I have already disturbed. Lark drifts along lightly, almost appearing to float over the ground. On the other hand, Aura’s steps are deliberate and determined, bringing each foot down with a satisfying crunch.)

Lark (The Dreamer): How are you enjoying your first seasonal celebration, sister?

Aura (The Professional): It’s not really my first. I was around for the last couple even though I was inside you at the time.

Lark: I suppose that’s true, though it must be nice to feel the wind on your own skin.

Aura: You know, it is nice. I like the crisp autumn air, I like the leaves crunching under my feet. It feels good to be myself.

Lark (smiling): It feels good to be with you too.

(Aura’s face takes on a slight red tinge for a moment, but before anyone notices, it passes. A few paces behind her, Bloom and Libra energetically make their way through the leaves. Libra moves her legs in big sweeping movements, sending leaves up into tiny fan-shaped geysers as she walks. Bloom’s gait is as unpredictable as she is, shifting between big crunching jumps, big satisfying twirls, and whatever else takes her fancy. Every so often she has to stop and catch up with a loud dash, bounding through the leaves like a carefree puppy.)

Bloom (The Survivor): I love the leaves!

Libra (The Friend): Yeah, me too! I think we’ve always enjoyed this time of year. There’s something very satisfying about jumping into a pile of leaves, even if you have to pull them out of your hair and rake them up again afterwards.

Bloom: It’s also lovely to watch them all change color, to see the trees go from lush green to vibrant yellow, red, and orange. I feel like we didn’t really enjoy that properly before, you know?

Libra: I do, yes. Even setting aside that talking about how pretty the leaves are felt insufficiently masculine, we just weren’t in touch with our feelings enough to properly feel it. I’m glad that’s changed.

Bloom: I am too… It’s like we can actually exist in nature rather than just watching it from afar. Instead of seeing beauty and struggling with how to feel about it, we’re standing amongst the trees, a pretty thing alongside pretty things, and it feels so satisfying.

(Back at the front of the group, the trail has led us to a clearing in the woods. A small wooden pavilion has been built here, with a wooden picnic table underneath it just large enough to seat six. Six place settings have been set, each with a cup of hot apple cider and warm apple cinnamon donuts. The six of us settle around the table as I raise my glass of cider.)

Mom: To Fall and family!

All: Hear hear!

(We all touch cups gently and take a sip, then set them down on the table and enjoy the sensation. Bloom immediately takes a bit of her donut, and Libra follows soon after.)

Aura: So what are we here to unpack? What’s today’s lesson, Mom?

Mom: No lesson. Today’s just a day to relax and enjoy the season, and to remind ourselves that Autumn is a good season to be ourselves.

Lark: Didn’t you say Summer was a good season to be ourselves?

Libra: I’m pretty sure she said Spring was a good season to be ourselves at one point…

Mom: Mmm, notice a theme? Guess what kind of season Winter will be?

(The girls laugh and focus on their donuts in earnest as I smile and watch over my wonderful family.)