The year I turned eight my parents split for good. It was a difficult time in its way. But it also had its own kind of magic.
My mother decided to be the one to leave what was once the family home, opting instead to pack my brother and I up to housesit for a colleague in what we in Riverside call the Wood Streets.
The Wood Streets occupy an area of Old Riverside. The streets are narrow. The houses well spaced and small. And everywhere the trees. Deciduous and towering, they cast the well kept homes in a charmed, dappled light. The particular house we lived in was smaller than most, just two tiny bedrooms, so my brother and I had to share a futon in what my mother’s colleague used as an office. But the home smelled of years of well-cooked dinners, the floors were made of real wood buffed to a gloss, and the windows were wide and bright and open.
When we arrived there were two goofy golden retrievers to greet us. They loved everything and I loved them, often sneaking to the backyard to bury my face in their soft, yellow fur. I loved my time with them the most, lying on my back in the brown soil, watching the orange leaves break away from their mother trees and drift into the soft piles that lined the white, wooden fence.
I think it was this that spared me the excessive heartache I heard about from so many friends who shared my fate. The yellow dogs, the orange leaves, the brown soil, the white fence. The time alone to be a child. To play. Like a crafty little fox, to sneak around and steal away the hours of my time in a narrative of my own making, in the charmed little house cast in dappled light.
I have loved this time of year ever since.
Want to make your own crafty little amigurumi? I have opted to provide my Fearless Fausto the Fox pattern for free to celebrate my favorite time of year.