We are on the third (or maybe fourth) leg of our afternoon school pick-up, which means “Lala,” Clementine and I have been sitting in the minivan for a while now. Big sister “J” should arrive any moment with her middle school carpool.

From our waiting spot, back at the corner of Lala’s school, my youngest sees her friends and a few younger siblings cross the street to giant piles of leaves. She asks if she can get out and play in the mounds while we wait. “Of course,” I say, as she pulls the door open.

Clementine the Lab and I can clearly see them from where we sit — the goldenrod, burnt orange and brown foliage. The group of children, wide-eyed and smiling.

Lala greets her friends and proceeds to collect pile after pile of the dry, autumn warmth. Throws handfuls in the air like confetti, armfuls like the piles of stinky laundry she sometimes tosses after her sisters.

With the windows down, I can hear their shrieks of laughter, the way they recreate the game over and over again. Time slows through my windshield. I am capturing this story, collecting memories of young ones gathering up armfuls of freedom.

I toss the pictures in my mind’s eye like precious loads of confetti, letting them fall where they will.

Joining with the lovely Five Minute Friday community again this morning and the word prompt: COLLECT. May you have a weekend filled with fall and good things worth collecting. Bless you, friends. 

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