Wednesday, October 16, 2013
When I was a little girl, every year in the fall, I'd wait for the Tribune Magazine with Injun Summer, a cartoon by John T. McCutcheon. It was originally published in 1907. I loved it when I was a child and still do. The cartoon is of a granddaddy, telling a tale to his grandchild, about the Indians, now gone from the prairie, that come back each autumn as spirits. It stirred my imagination then and now it takes me back to the early years of my life, when everyone burned their autumn leaves. It seemed every house had a fire burning in the street. My Buscia would rake, and then start a fire. I loved watching that smoldering fire. The smell is magic, better than woodsmoke, more fragrant than any man made candle or spray. My husband and I travel the countryside, looking for the tell tail signs of leaf burning. (Still allowed in some small towns.) When we see a cloud of smoke ahead, we roll down the windows, and inhale deep the smell from our childhood. I think of the Indians that lived here for thousands of years, their campfires, their lives. I think of my Dad, smoking his pipe, spinning a yarn of his own. It's pure nostalgia, and all it takes is a whiff of smoke to take me there. Enjoy this beautiful day.
Reposted from my very first year of blogging.