Last weekend I watched a leaf fall. Riding a tiny breeze it somersaulted down, down, down, sixty feet down to rest with its fellows on the hillside. A line from a poem about falling leaves came to mind, “but do they know they’re dead?” Do they? Are they? Which part of their journey is “death?” They looked quite alive in flight—as if “I was made for this moment.” How long is the drop from the top of a sycamore tree? How long and how hard does a breeze blow?
From an upside down view, might the ground be “Heaven” for them? A place where they gift their being into terra firma? Might some cells grow back up as part of another tall tree, bud, sprout, sing in the breeze and let go to dance for a few seconds in a far future fall?
More leaves took the leap as I watched. They twisted and turned in time to some ancient tune. Some tumbled end to end. Others rolled down. Some let go in whole groups at a time as if a captain yelled, “Now!” and their tight formation let loose into a free for all spreading far in flight. One yellow leaf came so close I hoped it might hit my knee, but it stopped just short. Another flit of yellow drew my eye to a butterfly—surely the last of its kind this year. It looked frantic—I saw no flowers left anywhere and almost prayed for the mercy of a swallow or sparrow to receive its little soul.
Next: Ta-ta Turkey
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