It's finally Autumn, and with every gust of cold wind that smells of wet leaves, I feel more like myself. I'm so glad I was born in October. To acknowledge the grateful return of Fall and the nearing close of my 27th year, I'm posting something I wrote exactly a year ago on a day retreat I had to go to, but wasn't really engaged in, so ended up walking around, carrying my journal, then stopped, wrote this, then kept walking. It feels appropriate. (and I didn't edit it at all, so don't hate on the lack of grammer too much...) Here goes:
"I’m 27 and I’ve never stopped under a tree and watched leaves fall.
I stopped my walk because I could hear soft pulsing, almost like rain- and it was the drying leaves moving on the branches with a very slight breeze.
The tree has lots of moss on its trunk and branches.
At first, about five leaves fall at a time. It feels like snow.
Then I just watch individual leaves fall- some spiral in tight, fast concentric circles- almost like they’re on a pole.
Some glide- almost fly, as if they are following a smooth flight plan.
Some of the larger and more dried leaves fall in a solid diagonal steady drop to the earth- no swoops or upturns. Just tree to earth.
And some spend lots of time spinning- lifting up, being swooped down and rising again. They take as long as they can before they have to land.
This is their one moment of action- of freedom. Their only time as a single being- leaf, singular. Not leaf-in-a-tree, lost in the oblivion of many,
or leaf-on-the-ground-- mashed mass of wet browns and yellows underfoot.
The leaf-flight is the only time this leaf has a presence of its own.
For some, it’s a chaotic, dizzy spin to earth,
For some it’s a careful, graceful downward movement,
For some it’s as quick as possible- a heavy drop and land.
And for some it’s a playful, joyous, bittersweet spin and swoop- rise up again and again- drawing closer to the mashed brown and yellows below- but grabbing every last possible up-current before the inevitable end.
I watch one fall, land and I pick it up. It’s dry, not yet damp and mottled on the path- it’s bright yellow against these dead leaves.
I put it in my journal and take it away from the rest."