VIOLA - Dear Leaves,
Forgive me for silently screaming “Hang on,” when your one job in fall is to let go.
I worry that in this gray, wet season you will be on the ground before there is a blue sky to set off your magnificent colors. I think of rubies and garnets, emeralds and jade, amber and topaz when I see you brightening up our hillsides and valleys. Your beauty enlivens my days. I’m smitten with you. I inhale your vividness, and when I exhale, my lips turn upward, making the skin around my eyes crinkle with delight.
Whenever I have to be indoors, away from you, anxiety arises and makes me restless. I want to be surrounded by you. To lie upon you and watch the clouds float by. To feel your crispness on my back. To let the sun warm me, while resting my weary body in your embrace.
Already you’ve covered the trails in a deep carpet. I’m in over my ankles, walking down the path, kicking my feet, watching you fly out in all directions with a satisfying crunch-whoosh, crunch-whoosh. But, it’s too soon for you to settle so thickly on the ground. Stay in the trees awhile longer. Please don’t let go yet.
I wait for you each year with the anticipation of an expectant mother. I watch the weather change from warm to cool. I look forward to the first maple trees turning gold. When the wind picks up and you start spiraling downward in the headlights of my car, it’s like magic. The sky is raining leaves!
I never want the fall season to end. I never get tired of seeing your colors change. I’ve grown to love the quiet stillness of winter, yet I never worry that winter won’t last long enough like I do the fall season.
I’ve been told that fall is all about letting go, that there is a lesson there for anyone willing to listen. I understand. I’ve stood back for years now and said my solemn goodbyes to spring, summer, and winter. But I feel differently about you. There is a longing, a need that makes me feel I must hurry outdoors, that I need to soak you into my pores. To paint you vividly in my mind’s eye, so I can enjoy the memory when everything becomes bleak and barren.
It’s still raining. The wind is tugging and pushing you. Down you float into my gutters, on top of my roof, and over my yard, a mosaic of colored leaves. More wind, more rain, and soon I’m looking down more than up at you.
You’re letting go, doing what comes naturally. I respect that, even if it feels like just yesterday, you turned brilliant with shades that make me feel good.
I’m going to grab my hat, put on my boots, and walk through your richness while absorbing the last of your colorful displays. Crunch-whoosh, crunch-whoosh.
Goodbye until next year. I‘ ll miss you.