Every Leaf’s a Flower

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf’s a flower.” — Albert Camus

I think I once faked being sick in order to stay home and watch out my bedroom window as the leaves drifted to the ground.  Or maybe I just planned to and then chickened out at the last minute. I don’t remember.

This year I don’t have to play hookie to watch the leaves fall. Not only have Baby-tidian and I enjoyed many walks through our crunchy leaf strewn neighborhood, we’ve spent countless minutes watching out our windows as leaves have transformed the cement dead zone of our driveway into a sea as vibrant as any coral reef.

I always forget how falling leaves makes one appreciate negative space. We tend to scamper about with our eyes fixed where we are headed, whether that’s the front door, the coffee shop window, or our car at the other end of the parking lot. What stands between us and our goal is just empty space to be gotten through. Leaves falling through it changes the way I see that empty space. It’s like lining a blank hallway with pictures. With a big gust of wind, I’m suddenly aware of the depth of the space I inhabit. There is value and beauty in the getting there.

Autumn also gives a blessed relief from the monotony of summer and winter. I love lush landscapes as much as the next person. And I’m a sucker for the pristine harmony of a fresh snow. But it’s fortifying to see trees bursting out of their verdant uniformity like a woman kicking off her slick high heels and stretching her bare feet. Where there was once a fire, now there are flames.

I find myself collecting these newly emancipated leaves. I’ll pluck one off a tree in the grocery store parking lot or stoop to pick another off the ground as I fumble for my keys at the door. I’ll find these leaves days/weeks/months later in my pockets or forgotten corners of tables in various states of crumbly decay.  Here’s a peek at my stash from this year:


Some are the color of Venetian glass while others sport the texture of a leather handbag. They evoke both the setting sun and night’s inkiness. They tell stories of swans, and rivers, and turkey tails. Of age, and beauty, and playfulness.


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Posted in Uncategorized 11 years, 2 months ago at 11:50 pm.

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