Just Another Autumnal Day?

The crisp cold air sweeps past, going so fast, feeling so free.  The wheels turn, bumping along the river-side path covered with fallen leaves.  Meandering families scattered across the path, I continue at speed, relaxed, a father sweeps his arm around his daughter without even looking back clearing my way ahead.  A bridge yawns across the jade river.  Stopping to gaze at the sparkling sunlight dancing across the water, the current seems to have captured the sun`s rays, now, like playful fish the silver strips of light flit in and out between each other to their own rhythm.  Back along the path, a short cut, a ultra-modern house, a pang of jealousy, an impasse, a re-route, a Hans and Gretel house, a woman with silver-grey hair trailing her feet in circles around and around through a mass of fallen, dry leaves behind her house in her garden; a gaze at the view, ahhhh, so huge even in the distance. Were they always that sharp, piercing the baby blue sky?  Balloon dots swing from side to side like the rocking bow of a ship paragliding to earth.  Watching them swing, I almost knock over a Sunday meander who voices a high slight "whoop" under her breath as I whizz past.  Stopping for water, a whiff of manure brings me whooshing straight back to the Yorkshire Dales, a sleepy child whining as her mother lets her slip from her grasp to walk the rugged path, wakes me up to the moment.  A girl, not more than 10, her helmet securely on, defiantly cycles past. A few meters behind, a man with longish, curly, blond hair catches my smile from a couple of seconds behind and mirrors it back, before looking proudly onwards at his girl.  A bike-ride after university, in a haze of confusion, my father led me onto country lanes, behind pad-locked fields, over hills and far away from noise and clutter- where did it all get so complicated?  I peddle faster, breaking away from the memory and defiance now pushing through, I hold my head up high passing by a child carrying a large bunch of flowers. How sweet, I think, a boy with flowers! He must be visiting grandparents. A second child with another bunch-cannot be? Looking back at these imaginary flowers, all same shape, marigold, gathered from across the floor, just Autumnal mementos.  Laughing at my projected synopsis, now changed, is this the new activity of the young?  Gather as much as you can? What happened to being buried and burying siblings and running through piles kicking up as much as you can, OK, so maybe it`s the same-am I turning into one of those "It`s not like it used to be"?  As the afternoon golden rays penetrate through, the firey red maple leaves burn bright and the river flows on.