fall-leavesOut to stretch my legs on a late October day

Unexpected warmth summons shorts from their brief hibernation in the bottom drawer

My body creaks and fusses at what I’ve asked it to do

So I distract myself with the trees

 

These giants that guard our streets and yards have been transforming

Shifting subtly like chameleons captured in time lapse HD

Weeks ago they towered as a mass of green

Today they are a canvas replete with hues

As if the Artist discovered some forgotten tubes of color on the top shelf

And couldn’t wait to use them all

 

Mine is not the only movement happening in this moment

The leaves are traveling too

As I walk forward, they journey down

Leaping from their lofty perches toward the warm, damp ground

Here the will complete their life cycle

Like salmon coming home to spawn and die

They will be raked, blown, bagged and mulched

Maybe even frolicked in

If they are fortunate enough to land in the right yard

 

But not yet

For now they float and shimmy through the air

Carried by the gentle breeze

Hovering around me

 

I pluck one of the autumnal sojourners from the air

Anxious for a closer look

My specimen is a rich scarlet

Smartly shaded with gold and bronze

Splattered with stipples of the green that comprised its entire wardrobe just days ago

The more I stare, the more I am awed

How could so much beauty be compressed into a solitary- seemingly insignificant- leaf???

 

Disbelieving, I examine another

And a third

A fourth

And a fifth

And draw the same conclusion

 

Each

Is

Magnificent

 

Instinctively my head snaps upright to scan my surroundings

I see not only the millions of leafy, micro canvases

Still waiting for their chance to enter the gallery of our awareness

But I see the Artist who pours gallons of glory into every ounce of their Creation

And the God who can capture my attention and my heart

With just a single leaf

 

And I walk on

With a leaf in my hand

And wonder coursing through my soul

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