Stopping to Smell the ... Leaves

Ithought this would be a day like any other, a short walk out to the clothesline like any other, the backyard same as always. But I was mistaken.

Traces of last night's heavy frost are still on the lawn in patches of shade. I'm wearing gloves, and the air feels early-morning cold on my face, sharp, with the intake of breath.

I set the basket of wet laundry down and just stand here. All around me, leaves are falling from the ash tree, cascading like yellow roses out of the sky. There is no wind, just stillness and falling leaves everywhere.

Did you know that leaves make a sound when they fall? If the world is still, you can hear it - like crumpled pieces of paper bouncing off of each other and hitting the ground. It's such a soft thumping, multiplied so many times, with a continuous show of color and motion.

I am transfixed. I stand here. The slightest breeze touches my face, and the yellow leaves just keep falling, touching the earth around me. There is that glorious leaf smell, the fragrance of autumn, the sky that deep mystical blue, and the soft sound of falling leaves everywhere.

This is no ordinary day.

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