Kicking Leaves – One of Fall’s Simple Pleasures

I noticed the leaves, as I sat writing by the window of my aerie. Every breeze blew them in a golden yellow rain past my window.

I walked out the door this morning and the golden leaves lay on the sidewalk swept into little mounds by nature’s own broomstick – the wind.

I couldn’t resist; I didn’t even try. I walked through each mound, kicking leaves as I went about my morning walk. I watched them scatter and take flight one last time – blown here and there with every kick and the insistent wind. It is a ritual of the season.

A simple thing like kicking leaves triggers memory and takes me back to every Fall that came before. I feel sheer joy in the crisp air that rouges my cheeks. I can actually hear the cacophony of colors and sounds amplified through time, and I am there again far away and long ago in that invincible childhood.

Fall was all about the leaves, a rain of colors – yellow, red and russet. I caught the leaves as they fell; jumped from the porch into the carefully raked mountain of their colored splendor; and ran down the sidewalk scattering them asunder – kicking leaves. Fall was so much fun then.

The ritual is still a pleasure. I carry pressed in memory all the Falls that came before, and all the leaves I’ve ever seen, smelled, or held.

It is one of many rituals to celebrate the passing of seasons. When there are enough leaves to kick, I walk and walk for miles, kicking leaves and looking at trees, and smelling the very change in the air.

Fall is here, and Winter can’t be far behind. At home, it is time to rake the leaves and bank them up around the base of plants and trees to warm and feed the roots, so they will winter well and bloom again in Spring. The leaves lose their brilliant colors in the service of the garden, except in memory held close until this time next year, which will find me once again kicking leaves.

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