Today is a work-at-home day, so I was allowed to watch my youngest as she waited for the bus. I stood on the other side of the window, in my bathrobe, holding a less than steaming but terrificly delicious cup of fresh-roasted Highlander Grogg, watching her. The trees in the front yard were/are shedding their leaves rapidly this morning, a steady shower of orange, red and gold. The big ginger cat sat at my feet, his tail twitching as he, too, watched the leaves drop from the sky. Oh, he wanted to wrestle them, I saw it in his tail.
This scene reminded me of a column I wrote two years ago. I found it and share it with you now. I continue to be awed (and odd). Enjoy your fall day.
October 30, 2005
There is something about the fall that just awes me. I usually feel odd, but the contrast of colors of the fall leaves me feeling … awed.
This morning, when I snuck out to get the newspaper, I glanced over the deck and the gray, billowy sky draped as a backdrop for the bright green grass. And there, standing straight up, stuck in blades of grass, were three fallen leaves.
Not two leaves, or four. But three.
It couldn’t have been staged any better. Each leaf was a different color—one a russet red, one a burnt orange, the third more yellow than anything else. The russet one was toward the front of an imaginary triangle; the other two leaves flanked on either side, like back-up singers. And, with the wind blowing by them, the leaves bobbed and waved, as if they were doing a doo-wop dance.
Later, when I took my daughter to orchestra before school, I stole another look at the leaves, wondering how they still stood, despite the wind. Even later, after a trip to the dentist, the sentinels of the season still stood up, the grass was still bright green, the sky even more gloomy than earlier, and I looked at those leaves and just felt … happy. Wealthy. Awed.
The day went on in a manner that some of my days do: I worked from home while the girls were at school. I threw a few loads of laundry in, and when the mail came, I walked through the dry, fallen leaves in the front yard, dragging them down to the road as I went.
Back at work, I struggled with a foreign language (html), and spent the afternoon staring into the glaring white light of the computer. And then my own doo-wop trio danced in. First the oldest, who revels in having a few moments at home alone without the other two—those orange and yellow back-up dancers—who soon came rushing in with the wind 30 minutes later.
I shut the screen on my laptop for a while, and did the things I’m not always home to do. I helped with homework and enforced a rule that no one would watch television or play on the computer until the musical instrument of choice had been picked up and practiced upon for a goodly amount of time. In the midst of trying to remember how to read music with my seven-year-old daughter, I stole downstairs to play with power tools to help drill holes in a thick cardboard tube my middle daughter was turning into a Kachina doll for a school project. Then I came upstairs and started straightening up the day’s dishes and fixing dinner. I marveled at how much I was enjoying these simple, daily bits of my life.
The wind and rain roared and pounded outside while I stayed warm(ish) and dry inside. This is real life, and so, at one point, a storm raged within the house, as well. But we weathered it. I called up those leaves dancing in the grass, put a soundtrack for them in my head, and moved on through the less than perfect evening, letting the heartaches and headaches of the day slip away, like these awe-filled days of fall.
These days are precious and few–these days of intense color and amplified noise and hurried activity.
And autumn? It’s short, too.