It is a well-known fact that mid-September sun has the habit of glazing streets, trees and electric lines in a golden layer that almost turns too bright at around 6pm or so. The air is a golden warm fog that makes you think of being hidden in the fluffy wings of some gigantic gentle bird.
It was past 6pm when Sasha said he wants to take his bike out in the back lane for some tricks.
“Race you to the end of the block!”
Nah, not feeling it tonight. It was mellow, you see. The air, my thoughts, the noises trickling from the gold-glazed city. I was stitching the back lane with steps, pacing as to not let Sasha get too far on his own. Mama bear instincts are never mellow.
“Watch this, mom!” He swerves, too sharp, almost falls but what a save! Wicked little smile that admits to nothing and the turning, swerving and brushing by long dry back lane bushes continues.
His tanned calves sprouting from summer-bleached shorts are still tiny, just like his arms holding the handlebars determined and already strong. His rosy cheeks are lost in long golden hair and pinned forever to my heart. Just like his brother a few years ago, he celebrates growing up with grins of satisfaction “Did you see that?” I did, but no hurry. To grow up I mean… They never heed such requests. We have today.
The golden glaze of September…Just like when I was little, grabbing my bike and heading out to learn tricks and speed and all the things I was thinking I shouldn’t do, but wheels and that fragrant fall air made me do them anyway. The air smelled of ripe grapes and I knew I had left the wooden ladder just ready to climb on and grab some more purple sweet clumps on my way in.
Sasha traces smaller and smaller circles in the lane, his shade following like a puppy. When the circles get too small, the bike slides sideways and knees get scraped. “I’ll never ride this bike again!” Stomping feet and angry little face leave the bike asleep in the middle of the lane, quiet and dusty.
We sit at the side under gigantic weeds that play some palm tree game. I fell many times, you know, I tell him. It is like that… He smiles. Trickster, he knows he cannot stop now. He loves it too much.
“I want to learn tricks and be really fast on my bike, you know.” I know. That’s all I wanted back then when the air promised grapes and warm nights still. I still do. He will too, I know. It’s like that.
A slight chill drapes over the golden city, streets and trees and all. We go in. In the oven, deep orange squash is roasting and promising soft sweetness. Fall has nothing sharp in it.
Warm air curls around my feet like a sleepy cat. One of these days I will take my bike out for a ride, it’s been a while with a summer away and all. To trace my own circles. Fall has nothing sharp in it… It’s like that.