It's autumn in New York. It's cool and crisp and the sun is shining for the first time in a week. The trees are depositing their dead leaves everywhere, and I know pretty soon we're going to have to haul out our rakes. As much as I love fall, that's a task I could live without. The sound of an ice cream truck startles me from my reverie. It's not summer anymore; I know that even though this crazy year of Covid and quarantines has played havoc with my biological timeline. It's Halloween, even though there don't seem to be any trick or treaters knocking on my door, and the annual slaughter of forests so that political flyers can overflow my mailbox has been going on for weeks now. But there it is again—the silly jingle that will probably be my ear worm for the rest of the night, and I am thinking of ice cream cones melting in the summer sun, and trying to lick their gooey sweetness faster than they can cover my hand. It's a race against time. And isn't that life in a nutshell-- Racing to enjoy the sublime before it's gone instead of savoring it, sticky drips and all? Like squirrels hoarding nuts for winter, we worry for the future that may never come. The air is filled with wood smoke from my neighbor's fireplace. I look at the carpet of dead leaves that will be buried under winter snow before too much time passes, thinking I would dearly love a dripping ice cream cone.
Elise Skidmore ©2020