Sunday, October 7, 2018

Leaf Me Alone

Every single one is different. Unique. Amazing. Beautiful.  How many times have you stopped to admire fallen leaves on the ground? I usually just step on them, step over them, peel them from my shoe or shake one off that sticks to my sock.  A nuisance rather something to be admired. Something to hold onto. Something to love.

I love the fall leaves. Each of the orange, yellow, bright green, red and sometimes flame colored leaves. I pause when I am on walks so I can gaze at them and take pictures of the trees.  I pull my car over to admire trees as they change color when I drive down the hill in Carver. I holler at the kids to stop what they are doing when we are together in the car. I want them to be able to behold the beauty of the changing leaves which has captured my eye.

When I was a teenager, there was a beautiful wildlife area one town over. I would go there with friends or even a date and take in the beauty that surrounded. I loved one particular area where there was a slight elevation with huge hundred year old pine trees on the left and gorgeous trees with a tapestry of colors on the right.  During one such adventure, I remember stopping the second I got out of the car.  I was in awe. I couldn't even step forward. With mouth agape, I was transfixed on the beauty of nature that stood before me.  My friend turned, and watched me, smiling. He knew. He knew I would react his way. He knew I would appreciate this spectacle and that is why he brought me there.

I am the one that picks up leaves. I am one that carries them with me. I am one that dries them in the sun and places them in the back of thick poetry books and spiral bound hard cover notebooks filled with short stories.  I am the one that wants to preserve the beauty.  I am one that wants my eyes to find the beauty in a leaf in the dead of winter. When the snow is piled high, when it is dirty from car exhaust and the frigid temperatures make me impatient for spring. I am the one who can recall the brisk wind and the sound it makes as I walk down the hill toward the park.  I am the one who wants to remember the beauty before it is soon gone.

This winter, if I hand you a bouquet of leaves, I am fully aware that it is an nontraditional offering.  But those leaves, those colors, that gift of beauty is the best gift that I can offer. I have dried them, pressed them, arranged them. Now given to you as a gift that you can enjoy hopefully as much as I do. 

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