I always thought of death as autumn. In fall all of the leaves fall from the trees and all weaker plants die. Then finally the snowy winter comes and everything is either gone dead or in hibernation that not to far from the first. Its cold and lonely with barely any movement, a time frozen in its own beauty. But always springtime comes and the leaves come and the plants grow. Everything comes back that once was dead, reborn a new.
Now I drove through the old back roads, taking in the scenery. The reds, yellows, and browns of fall had splattered the leaves making each color and everyone in between. Most of these fell on the ground making a crimson and amber plaid carpet that smothered the kodachrome greens of summer. But some trees still held onto their last bits of cover, savoring that last days.
The sun burnt pale in the sky. Taking in the beauty of summers demise and winters frozen rise, not much unlike myself.
As I pass by an old stone wall, which had probably been built at least hundred years prior , I lit my smoke and inhaled the personally wrapped delicacy. I looked out at the decayed stone that still stood strong as the day it had been made. I blew smoke at the open passenger side window of my car, letting the rushing air tear it from its calm flow.
I drove only a short distance more before I was there. I pulled the car over and still remember sitting in the seat next to me oh so many years ago. Playing the songs, Bollywood to be exact, occasionally looking up at my brother who sat in front of me who was 10 years older than me. I was usually rather impatient at that age, a trait which has long left me now. But somehow at that time, the common impatience I was used to was not present at all.
I put the smoke out and threw it into the ashtray before turning the car off. I pulled the handle and opened the drivers side door. Stepping into the coo, calm of that moment I breathed in the natural silence. Swinging the door shut I walked forward to where my brother had once sat. As I neared the spot it felt as though each step I took brought me back in time.
Soon my feet were in the place they had been nearly a decade ago. I could still see my brother sitting there painting, encompassed by his artwork. And once again I was young, unfettered by this worlds realities. I stare at the painting, Still unable to understand its perfection that now is so clear to me. My brother turned to look at me through his big eyes. His warm wool jacket was buttoned up to the top, and he wore the wool cap atop his head. His face lightened even more as he smiled, his life staring me in the face.
“Oye Vibhu.” He said in his warm voice that I could never forget.
I was about to answer him casually, like every other day. Then a car drove by and he was gone with the leaves, pulled up and away by the car. And I stood there once again alone, everything with time came back to me and there I was. Me standing amongst the fall,and the leaves, and the bare trees, and everything that came along with it. Standing next to the stone wall and the trees by the road.
I walked back to my car. I pulled the cars handle and the door opened with a click and sat on the drivers side of the seat. I looked at the empty seat on the passengers side of the car and looked up, out at the empty, leaf covered side of the road.
Now I waited for spring…
Rest in Peace….brother.