Autumn Leaves

It always happens this way. The leaves start to turn, and suddenly accelerate into a burst of color. Meanwhile, you’re busy with life, knowing the wave is washing over you but not getting out there enough to see it. The rains come, often with wind gusts, and it ends before you really noticed.

The alternative is to notice. To walk away from the computer screen and see the foliage, feel the crisp air, smell the freshly fallen leaves mingle with the harvest. To experience the world on more than just the weekends. It seems to me a better way, noticing, and we ought to do more of it.

Still, I have this stack of responsibilities that keep me at bay. Three big projects due for work, and home projects to finish, and other such to-do commitments. Those seem like compelling reasons to skip a walk amongst the trees today, don’t they? No?

We remain reckless with our time, we humans, and it flies by regardless of our attention to the urgency of the matter. The autumn leaves come and go whether you linger amongst them or not. But the journey is more pleasant when you linger awhile.

The image that stays with me most after a weekend in Acadia is not the rocky shore or the stunning sunrise on Cadillac or the lighthouse, but a single brilliant red tree along the Carriage Road. I imagine that the leaves have fallen off that tree in the stormy few days since I was there, but in my mind they remain, fluttering like Cardinals at a social event. And there’s the fleeting magic of fall foliage. The Autumn leaves are here today, gone tomorrow. Go have a look then.

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