Thursday, November 22, 2007

Autumn's Backyard Dance Audition

Today, an Indian Summer day, with brightly colored light filling the backyard, I tried to make myself still enough to watch leaves fall.

The trees in my backyard are a mixed blessing. They obscure the sunsets and the vast sweep of the sky, but today they are offering their own endless permutations of beauty. Each leaf, huddled in vaulted obscurity all summer long, has but one chance to show its personality. Gliding back to the ground from whence they came, the leaves of a silver maple tree slice through the air, each in its own way. Some are in a rush; others stretch the moment for all it's worth. Some spin fast, some slow, some descend in spirals tight or broad. Others glide like well-crafted paper airplanes, landing far afield. Each catches the light in this moment of distinction, these few seconds of quiet fame.

As if they were dancers auditioning for a ballet that will be forever in the writing, I wish I could congratulate each one on its flight--its contribution to the beauty of an autumn day--before it fades beneath a shimmering shower of countless others.

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