Sunday, October 19, 2014

Falling Leaves, Fall

Some snapshots of falling leaves.

1. Why do some memories stand out, even if nothing dramatic happened? I often picture myself running home from elementary school (maybe I was in the 5th grade) down a sidewalk on one of those gusting autumn days when the leaves fall thick and fast, and I was trying to dodge the leaves as they fell. I don't remember how well I succeeded. I do remember that the route I was taking home that day was not my usual route.

2. Just a couple days ago I was walking on a side street off of Harvard Square and three young men, most likely cross country runners, came running up the street toward me, laughing as they tried to snatch falling leaves out of the air. Their strides were effortless, but it's pretty hard to catch falling leaves since they fall in zigzags.

3. Once, many, many years ago, I was walking in one of Denver's beautiful city parks in autumn, and experienced a sort of vision. The leaves were falling heavy this day, and I thought to myself, heaven must be a place where the leaves fall steadily, and without end. I saw the trees replenishing even as they "died" their seasonal death. In heaven, motion and stillness are one, time and timelessness are one, life and death are one.

4. At Walden Pond I like to catalog the types of leaves, twigs, and branches that fall but get caught up in other branches and don't make it to the ground. Some lodge so securely I imagine they remain suspended for years. They will hit the forest floor eventually, thus contributing to the life-giving detritus that mixes into humus.

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