Autumn

Autumn has slowly pushed aside summer. The temperatures are dropping, along with the leaves.

We took a trip up to the Blue Mountains National Gardens at Mount Tomah, which along with the native trees, hosts pockets of European and North American flora. There is something reassuringly familiar about seeing conkers on the ground, and I have flashbacks to my childhood.

When I was a little older than my son, my brother and I would collect conkers, pierce them with a skewer, and thread a length of string through their core, creating an instrument of playground competition. These were great battles when you were seven years of age, which would be settled with one competitor’s dreams ending shattered on the floor, along with his weapon. Your status was entwined with the fate of your conker. Did you have a lowly ‘oner’, or had you vanquished your classmates and reached the heady heights of a ‘fiver’, or more?

These delights await my son, but for now he is content to climb trees.

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