Fallen Leaves

There I was, some years ago, coming back from a meeting in Pennsylvania, doing 80 on Route 80.  Climbing a mild grade in the middle lane, as soon as I hit the crest, spread out in front of me lay the most gorgeous, crystalline display, as the setting sun irradiated a forest of barren trees coated with ice.

Feeling tired, even though I had a camera on the passenger seat, I convinced myself to keep going, in the sense that another such scene would appear on my horizon at a more convenient time.

Almost 30 years have passed, and that convenience has never arrived.  A magnificent opportunity had manifest itself, and I passed it by.

So, it came to pass that yesterday, on my own block, a neighbor’s brown house was enveloped in a sea of ruddy, iridescent magic.  I needed to get to work.  But this time I knew that I could not assume the beauty before me would repeat itself, even the next day.

Running back home, I grabbed my camera, and captured it all as best as I could.

I cannot say whether or not scenes of natural grandeur are rare.  Yet, I am certain that they are fleeting.  The light changes, colors fade, and even if things do abide, we move on and away, often never to return.

Only the arrogance of our assumption keeps us from stopping to soak in and savor the moments and instances of life that are real gifts to behold.  As we move toward a given destination, I, for one, now feel the need to hit the brakes, so as not to skip past displays and events that define the journey.

Indeed, it is the way that is wonderful.  It is the unexpected vista that renders meaning for our passage and appreciation for our lives.

Yesterday, the light and the leaves were perfect.  Today, it rains.


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