Monday, September 1, 2008

Fall is Here

Summer is officially over – it is the first of September today. This date holds a special meaning to me – in Russia it was the day of returning back to school. Children with bouquets of flowers flooded the streets in the morning, little ones going hand in hand with their parents, the older ones - in twosomes or threesomes, animatedly exchanging news with their friends whom they haven’t seen for the whole summer. There was usually a meeting in front of a school where principals greeted their pupils. At the end of it the oldest students led the first-graders to their classrooms. The oldest ones will be leaving school at the end of the school year, ready to start their adult life, and the little ones are at the beginning of their school journey. It was touching to see their procession.
The teachers could be easily spotted at the end of that day – their hands were weighted with flowers that they received from the kids. As a student I loved to give flowers to my favourite teachers and as a teacher it was a great joy to receive those bouquets from the kids.

As if in celebration of the fall the weather is lovely today – the sun is shining bright and cheerful and there isn’t any threat of rain. After atrocious weather of the last week it is a welcome change.

I went for a walk along the stream and there were little signs of autumn everywhere – the ducks are no longer there (they relocated to t he pond), pink cowberries turned into vivid red, the berries of mountain ashes became flaming orange-red colour, and the mushrooms appeared under the miniature Icelandic trees. As long as it is sunny, the fall is wonderful here.

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