Autumn Rhythm: Kids at Play in a Pile of Leaves

Children play in a pile of autumn leaves, Rockland County, New York, 1953.
Allan Grant—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Children play in a pile of autumn leaves, Rockland County, New York, 1953.
Allan Grant
'50s

As we get older and find ourselves further removed from childhood, it’s the simpler pleasures of youth that often evoke the sharpest, deepest memories. For those of us who grew up in places where autumn meant crisp days, cold nights, falling leaves and the slight but unmistakable change in both the feel and the look of sunlight, one activity brings it all back home: playing around in a big pile of leaves.

With another autumn upon us, LIFE.com celebrates the season itself; the celestial balancing act that brings about the northern hemisphere’s equinoctial moment (4:44 PM EDT on Sept. 22, to be exact); and the wonderful feeling of diving into a neatly constructed mound of dry, colorful, fallen leaves — and making it positively explode.

Happy fall, everyone.
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