Monday, November 15, 2010

Fall in Leaves

Fallen leaves ---
Yet not raking.
attributed to Taigi

This was my weekend zen poem. So few words evoke many thoughts and memories.

As a child, I loved the fall. Leaves would change colors and then fall. Falling leaves meant winter was coming, but more importantly, raking and jumping into piles of leaves. Stuffing scarecrows. The smell of leaves starting to decompose and become food for the next year's plants. Raking and jumping into more piles of leaves. Sweaters, heavier jeans, scarves. And more leaves for raking and jumping.

As I've gotten older, the leaves seem to fall sooner. It could be that I've also moved north, where they do fall sooner, but it seems that they start falling in August. The fall isn't marked as much by the changing colors and falling leaves. It's marked now by the darkening of days, the waning sunlight, the shortened time my office is lit without light bulbs. I still love the fall, but it's a different kind of love. Less thrill of leaves falling and raking and jumping. More excitement about the farm bounty that comes with the fall. Contentment that comes from the calmness with which the seasons move onward, round-and-round.

It's still the small things about the season that are the most memorable. Squash of all varieties. Hot chocolate on cold night. Yellow and red leaves fallen on the sidewalks, blown by the winds winding their ways along the Brooklyn streets.

I guess things haven't really changed too much. I love the fall. It's my favorite season.