Dancing with Leaves

The Japanese maple outside my living room window is beautiful now, as autumn takes what was once green and sets it afire. Red. Brilliant red when the sun shines on it. It reflects on the white carpet and makes the whole room pink. I could sit on the couch and look at it all day long. Do I dare wish that autumn would last all year?

I push my boundaries and go forth into a world of red and yellow — some color still hanging to frames, most on the ground, filling yards, blowing into streets, racing toward me, rolling, tumbling, coming at me all too fast. I take the lesser traveled route, up Hillsboro, through a neighborhood, to Manley Lane, through tunnels of red and yellow, where deer hop across, where I see nothing but a black road surrounded by yellow leaves and a yellow stripe down the middle, and I follow that stripe to Holly Tree Gap, to Murray Lane, to Granny White Pike. The hills are covered in color. The whole earth is pressed out in patchwork.

I stand outside in the wind and listen — leaves dry like parchment blow toward me and they sound like big raindrops hitting hard ground, like a rainstorm moving in, and I let the pattering overtake me.

I wish for a whole day to sit outside in the woods and look at it all and listen to it blow by me. I know this is the final show, before the earth “goes inside” to rest during its cold season.

I don’t want to go in.  I want to hold onto the sunlight and color and movement and dance with the leaves.

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