Woke up this morning to the chills of autumn, one of favorite seasons.

The white roofs on the houses in the alley, remind me of September mornings in Sault Ste Marie when I’d walk to St. Veronica’s Elementary. The chill made the air clean and raw. The roofs painted with thin white frost were fingers pointing to December snows. But at 13 who cared that those cold fingers scratched at the memories of a warm Calabria my parents and grandparents treasured. Winter was coming, we could play street-hockey, go tobogganing, unwrap presents. Calabria was a faraway place, lost in memory. It didn’t belong to me. I was running to assimilation.

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Forty-seven years later, I still like the white roofs, the raw chill of fall. However, this time ’round, it’s me who clings to the memories of a warm Calabria; to remembrances found and finally understood. And I’ve discovered that assimilation is only one lane of the track; it’s only one of the markers at the cross-road.

I can run on both the inside and outside lane. I can read the signs regardless of language. And winter has lost its appeal. Like my parents and grandparents before me, it has become a season of memories.