A Chariot Waiting for Me!

Autumn scarecrow

Layers of pine straw blanket the ground at the back lawn. The squirrels quickly scurry about, getting their nest ready for winter. Leaves dance across from the neighbor’s grove of trees. Where’s the rake? On second thought, the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet is music to my ears. Moreover, wood needs to be chopped and arranged in the fire pit. Let’s burn some marshmallows and roast some wieners! I find myself lost in Ideals. Curled up on the sofa next to the gas logs, I review one of my favorite magazines from long ago. I own two, both editions from Thanksgiving—1998 & 2001 (I actually own 4, found two Christmas editions as I unpacked); each are filled with Autumn poetry and colorful pictures, with short stories appearing in special memories. One of my favorites is written in the Readers’ Reflections section, and titled, “The Red Wheelbarrow:”

In a ditch in the country,

while taking a ride,

I see a red wheelbarrow

propped on its side.

The wheel is all rusty,

the handles broke free,

but it looks like a chariot

waiting for me.

My hands on the wheel

shake as memories loom

of a long-ago time

on a fall afternoon.

I can see the leaves falling

as tears of today

when I think of how brother

turned work into play.

Our red wheelbarrow was heaped

high with leaves

and limbs that had dropped

from the red maple trees.

I can smell the woodsmoke

as strong arms lift me high

and I plop in the wheelbarrow,

face to the sky.

I still laugh in wonder

as I call to mind

how that wheelbarrow flew

with big brother behind.

Well, I’ve ridden in autos,

in ships and in trains,

raced in a motorboat,

flew in jet planes.

But I’ve never felt such

a marvelous thrill

as when that red wheelbarrow

flew down the hill.

 –Ruth Roberts Douglas, Williston, Florida


Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—


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