Taking a peek from the kitchen window, an eager three-year old girl watches her Dad and older brother working in the backyard. With the final, late autumn rush of fallen leaves completed, they are raking up the annual harvest.
Bursting with excitement, Lydia enjoys the pile of colorful leaves growing wider and deeper. She asks her Mom, “May I go out in the backyard to play?”
In the meantime, Dad and brother have moved to the front yard to clean up the few remaining leaves hiding under some bushes. The enormous leaf pile is waiting for a little princess to share her imagination.
With permission granted, Mom makes sure her precious daughter is wearing a jacket. There is a subtle crispness to the autumn afternoon’s air. The jacket’s collage of color will make a pretty complement to the orange, red, yellow, and rust colors of the leaves.
Dashing out the back door, Lydia sprints as fast as her three-year old legs will allow. Upon reaching the mountain of leaves, she dives right into the middle. Quickly, she begins swimming, and her helicopter arms swish the leaves away.
Sitting in her newly formed crater, she feels like a captain of a ship. Surrounded by a protective ring of color, she looks to be quite in charge.
Suddenly, she is joined by her older sister. Now Lydia can enjoy her autumn paradise even more. The two girls, several years apart in age, create their own universe in the backyard.
Swimming and thrashing about, the leaves begin to scatter. What could make this even more fun?
Mom arrives with her answer, as she jumps right into the middle of the playful scene. Now the trio of ladies has fully taken over the once mountainous pile of leaves. With each animated action, the depth of the pile shrinks as it scatters wider and wider.
Eventually the laughter and fun invite Dad and brother. As they approach the backyard to see what’s up, they stop and smile. True, their hard work has been strewn about, but family fun like this only comes along once a year.
They both join in with the others. Leaves are being thrown in the air, and bits and pieces cling to hair and clothes. In the middle of it all, smiles an innocent-looking three-year old. Her precious expression says it all, “Can we do this tomorrow?”