It looks like rain. No, it feels like rain – the sort of day when I return to the window again and again to look for the telltale spots on the flagstones and wonder when the air will finally be relieved of its burden. My eyes follow the sudden arrival of a titmouse to the near-empty apple tree where only the squirrels and birds now enjoy an occasional bite to eat. Reminded that there are chores to be done before the rain comes, I grab my work gloves and rake and follow his singing to the backyard. It is time to rake the last apples and clear them away.

A soft burst of breeze interrupts the still air; and from all around, leaves come fluttering to the ground. On a still day in Autumn, if you listen closely, you can hear them whisper as they float by. I heard them today, as I raked in the leftovers of another year. I thought of how Autumn reminds us of the changes of our lives. As I pulled them together, I heard the leaves whisper. Ending. Over. Fulfilled. Abundant. All the words that described my life and the year that we now must lay to rest. Again, they spoke. Thankful. Cherished. Mysterious. Colorful. All the words that described the loved ones whose faces appeared in my mind and whose legacy lives in my heart.

My raking done, I carried the last bits of another year to the now-barren garden whose work is done. I spread them carefully on the soil of Autumn and know with certainty that they will be reborn in the first shoots of Spring.  I pull off my gloves and park my rake for another day. Yes, it looks like rain. As I turn toward the warmth of my home, I hear the final whisper of Autumn. Eternal.