I went to the banks of the Russian River today and dipped my toes into the river sand bottom. I waded through the clear meandering water and breathed in the river, the moist, woodsy willow smell of the peaceful river. The dancing alder tree leaves, yellow and brown, cast a canopy of autumn beauty high above me. Water skeeters skimmed over the surface as I gazed into memories of half naked children squealing with delight as they swung from a vine, splashing into summer fun just a few years past. I knew not then what I would have to let go of today. I lowered my hands into the coolness of the river, "Wash me," I prayed, "Wash me clean of this nostalgia, this sorrow that comes to every mother who once held little angels in their arms, who were once smothered in child love and now stand fulfilled of their commitments, turning to follow the fork in the autumn path."