mid-autumnGregory Longnecker, tinywords.com
Most front yards in my Portland neighborhood are a sea of leaves scattered helter skelter; mosaics in shades of ochres, browns, yellows and burgundies, arrayed in various sizes, shapes, and arrangements.
In the pool I swim in the falling rain amongst floating yellow and brown maple leaves. They stick to my skin until I can wriggle free.
On dry and windy days leaves fly up and around in dancing eddies, rising and falling every which way. Dry leaves blow against our doorstep, one by one making their way into the house when the door opens, unwelcome but insistent.
Mornings, I wake early and gaze out the darkened windows at shadowy outlines of the tall evergreens that sway in the wind or stand ghost-like in the fog. As light slowly dawns the dark orange of the nearby maples dawn too, revealing their glory even in the weak light. Rain falls, heavy or light, straight down or sideways, or in a mist that comes from no direction at all. The sky lightens and my attention shifts to the clouds, checking their density and depth, how close to the ground, the tone of grey, silver or coal.
As the day opens I try to seize rare moments of thin sun that are not to be passed up, and make a dash to walk in the light. I marvel at the man raking his lawn, undaunted by his Sisyphean task as leaves continue to fall all around him.
The seasons run through their unending cycles, and I too run through my own ebbs and flows of embracing and resisting. I feel deeply those 11 degrees of latitude that I left behind for this life of family love, retirement, and transformation. I make plane reservations for points south, confident that some day I’ll be as careless as those falling leaves.