September was a pretty different month for Colorado. Typically we’d spend the month outdoors getting the garden ready for the end of the season, preparing the lawn for the winter and taking drives up into the mountains to experience the beauty that fall has to offer. But on Sept. 11, 2013, Colorado was in store for a different type of fall. The rains started and didn’t stop. They came with a fury and washed out homes, neighborhoods, roads, trails and more.
Working in public information, I was called into our emergency operations center by early morning on Sept. 12. Our public information team worked on sharing updates via our websites, social media outlets, phone calls and any other means of delivery we could utilize. I helped our public officials declare a disaster for our community as we continued to post updates every few minutes. Hours became days and days became weeks. But ultimately we all pulled together and continue our rebuilding.
Just in the last week I’ve been able to appreciate this fall season. While driving I see vivid colors that change with each tree that lines my path. In my own yard our trees have transformed to bright oranges, reds and yellows. The big tree in the front yard now casts its colors all over the lawn where the dog loves to roll in the crunchy carpet the tree has made below its branches.
With my own rake in hand, I listened to the squeals of the neighbor kids across the street having fun in a giant pile of leaves today. Raking the colorful confetti that decorated their front yard, they made a huge pile large enough to jump in. Giggles and laughter filled the air and I couldn’t help but smile.
Throughout the jumping they decided on a perfect game – “let’s pile the leaves on top of one of us and scare mom and dad!” I couldn’t help but chuckle remembering that exact game I played as a kid. I sat down in my own pile of leaves and watched as the big sister piled the leaves high on top of her brother, often telling him to “stay still.” With the leaves piled high, the girl ran to her mom and beckoned her to come see what they had made. When mom appeared at the pile, out jumped the little one with a ferocious “boo!” The kids laughed and mom couldn’t help but smile too.
The tree in our front yard has almost dropped all of its leaves, signaling yet another change in the seasons. Soon our colorful landscape will all drop, creating more piles of excitement to play in. I don’t think you’re every too old to play in a pile of leaves.