Urmila sat, on the bench, looked around, the October sunshine seem to bathe the park with such melting light that it had the dim impressive look of a landscape by an old master.
Life and existence a never ending cycle, a new season comes and the old one passes by. We myriad experiences that become an integral part of ourselves. Urmila sighed….
There was something in October that seems to stir a gypsy blood within, we must rise and follow, she seems to stand atop every hill of flame, she calls and calls each vagabond by name. She felt like singing,”October baptize me with leaves, swaddle me in corduroy and nurse with split soup. Tuck tiny sweets in my pockets, and carve my smile like a thousand pumpkins, O autumn! Oh teakettle! O grace.”
Earlier in the day, when she Anuj and decided to come over. They had turned off from the high way to the drive through the town; it was still early in the golden green fields. The fumes of morning sweet and bitter; sprang up where they walked. The insects ticked softly, their strength in reserve; butterflies chopped the air, going to the east, and the birds flew carelessly and sang by fits.
They went down again and soon the smell of the river spread over the woods, cool and secret. Every step they took among the great walls of vines and among the passion flowers started up a little a little flight.
I’m walking along in the changing-time,” thought Urmila, “and any day now the change will come. It’s going to turn from hot to cold. Some night she could wander down here and tree a nice possum. Old Jack Frost would be pinching things up. Old Mr. Winter would be standing in the door. Hickory tree would be yellow. Sweet-gum red, hickory yellow, dogwood red, sycamore yellow.” She thought rapping the tree trunks with her knuckle. “Magnolia and live oak, never, die.” She remembered that. Persimmons would all get fit to eat, and the nuts would be dropping like rain all through the woods here, Urmila stopped the quail,
“Little quail run, for the hunter will be after you too.”
Then as she walked along the woods opened upon light and she had reached the river, it met the sea. Everything round her suddenly seemed to stop, but the voice in her head talked on, as though nothing had happedned.”Only today” the voice said, “today in the October sun, it’s all gold—sky and tree and water. Everything just before it changes looks to be made of gold.”
Urmila smiled, she was happy, yet sad. Life had never been more bittersweet. She looked at the sunset. The pink sky was sinking into the deep blue ocean. It was almost as if the sky knew that it was making a mistake, digging its own grave. But for a moment there the very moment before diving into the darkness of the sea, on the golden horizon, the sky shone brighter than it ever had. It was glorious in its five seconds of fame. It was serendipitously happy like all its life had lead to the moment. And then it died into the sea.
To Urmila it was like finishing a book, a little bittersweet. One would spend days getting to the characters. Learning their nuances, their faults, their loves, their lives. They become our friends, acquaintances, enemies and after the story ends we land up missing them. Then we begin to look for them in our own life, wonder where they have gone, somewhere we forget they aren’t real. We fell in love with the hero and dream of him at night, that strange girl had become Urmila’s best friend. Their heartaches had become her heartaches. She laughed when they laughed and cried when they died. Eventually Urmila realized they were not part of her world she had briefly visited theirs.