Fallen Leaves

12 December 2018

Clouds large and billowing intermingle in the royal blue canvas high above. A sliver of sunlight manages to peer out from beneath the thick, fluffy layer, shedding a deep orange glow. A cool fall breeze rustles what is left of the dried out leaves, hanging on by their thin stems to the tree branches; awaiting to be released and reunited with their many crisp copies on the ground. Not a soul nearby is to be seen, the silence that surrounds me is slightly eerie. However, the one spot that never fails to put me at ease lies in plain sight.

I briskly walk over to the opening, pushing back the stalks of overgrown grass and weeds. Climbing over an obstacle course of smooth rocks, I find myself at the river’s base. The current is fairly mellow; little turbulence disturbs the many creatures living within the crystal clear waters. I can see the small minnows and tadpoles make their way through the river, their silver bodies gleaming beneath the quickly setting sun. Swimming blissfully in their own little world, entirely separate from mine. Our only connection exists at the base of this river where our very different paths cross.

The sky explodes into an artist’s palette of magenta and incandescent orange. A day like today can only be described with one word: surreal. Many people fall victim to accepting the mundane and allowing each day to slip right through their fingers. They sit at home, watching the television or playing video games, letting the short twenty four hour lapse of time burn away, without ever realizing what they have missed. Living life submissively is truly the bane of a full existence. I never allow myself to waste time. I believe we must always be doing something of meaning in order for ourselves to be truly living. With each day we are given choices and opportunities. To let such gifts pass by us is a disservice on the one thing that we must value most- our lives.

I feel that I am truly living, as I sit on one of the slate grey rocks and gaze upon the wonders of nature. I allow my mind to further wander. My thoughts instantly pour out of my mind and get lost in the wilderness surrounding me. This is my little escape from the real world- the industrialized community where the stress and pressures of life eats at us daily. This is my sanctuary where I can think and clear my head. I slowly transcend to my nirvana as stress and the day’s troubles melt away.

The shadows projecting from the looming trees begin to envelope my surroundings. It is beginning to get dark and my time here is quickly coming to an end. I inhale in the crisp scent of autumn once more, I let it fill my lungs and sooth my senses. I gaze upon the scenery once more, attempting to take a mental picture of my surroundings. I find myself transfixed by nature’s gift; life’s simple pleasure that many fail to recognize.

Brushing the dead leaves and blades of grass from my pants, I return to the path which leads me back into reality. A gust of wind startles me and breaks my train of thought. High above me, several leaves are uprooted from their branches. Twirling and spiraling, they ride the wind’s current, dancing slowly as they fall closer to their inevitable destination. They reach the cold ground, losing animation and becoming lifelessly still. The haphazard pile of burnt orange and chestnut brown grows with each fallen leaf. Day by day the mound grows larger and the trees become more barren. Time passes the pile thickens- life’s continues cycle at large.

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