Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Inner Voice #25 - It's time to Fall again


Everything would have been normal, just fine. The year has four seasons, Spring, Summer, Winter and well you know. You think I have forgotten one of them? It is still there, but not as it was. I remember when I was a kid dad would get all annoyed in that other season, because he had to collect all the fallen leaves. That was why we called it Fall, at least where we live it was Fall. That was the ridiculous thing about it. If we had lived somewhere else it would have been Autumn and no-one would have cared.

I remember before it all happened, dad had a job at the local chemical factory. Nothing big, just a normal worker, but he was proud with his nice clean white overall and he was earning good money. He was mixing chemical stuff together to help our country in a war that was far away. Uncle George even went away to fight in the war. He was a sergeant and was proud to fight for his country. I remember him telling dad what a good job they were doing at the chemical plant when he was alive. Uncle George died a few years back, some sort of lung infection.

Just a moment, I can see Mrs. Johnson from across the road waving to me through the window.
I will open the window to see what she wants.

“Good morning Mrs. Johnson, can I help you.”

“Yes please, Betsy, we have run out of red leaves. We only have the yellow ones and that does look a bit plain and ordinary on the sidewalk.”

“I think we have plenty of red Mrs. Johnson, but perhaps you can let us have some yellow ones in exchange.”

“No problem Betsy, I will bring the over this afternoon. Did you want any green lea ves for just in between.”

“No, that’s OK Mrs. Johnson, it is nearly December and I think the green ones were all gone in the old days by end of November.”

I say goodbye to Mrs. Johnson and close the window, it is getting colder and a wind is starting to blow. Those new leaves are a good consistency. They do not blow around so much like the ones in the old days.

So where was I? I could say the conversation with Mrs. Johnson might be self explanatory. You see someone in the chemical factory (dad said he was innocent, but I don’t think he wanted to know who it was) emptied the remainder of the chemical down the drain when the war was over. The problem was it was something called defoliant. They used it for leaf removal in that country where they were fighting. It was easier to see the enemy between the trees they said.

So the days of Fall or Autumn are finished in our town. The chemicals got into the water supply, a few animals died, and perhaps even a few people, but they kept that quiet. Anyhow the result was that all the trees in our town lost their leaves. I heard that even in other parts of the state leaves are getting rare.

Of course, something had to happen to keep everyone happy. It was then that they decided to give the chemical factory some new work, producing artificial leaves. Jobs were saved and I must say they did a good job on the leaves.

So if you happen to take a walk through Treesborough, where it all happened, you just would not notice that the Fall had disappeared from the landscape. All the inhabitants now have a new job. Instead of sweeping the leaves together in Autumn, they distribute them along the streets and the road. It is even better; we can sort them to make sure the colours match.

You wonder how it looks in Spring and Summer? Well I think the government are still working on that one. They did try planting new trees, but it just did not work; seems that the defoliant stuff is here to stay. I think there are plans to deliver artificial trees next year and dad said they are working at the chemical plant with something to make the plastic trees change colour in Fall and the leaves will fall off just like they used in the days before the war. Thank goodness Winter is not a problem. It snows in any case, but even the snow now has a sort of bluish colour.  It used to be called evolution, but I think today it is known as progress.

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