How beautiful the leaves
grow old. How full of light
and color are their last days.
- John Burroughs
Halloween has come and went, so how was yours? After my series of Halloween and spooky stories, I am concluding it with a different kind of reflection about this time of year by also taking pictures in and around my neighborhood. After all, it is that time of year again where full, lush trees raise the bar in beauty as they erupt in exponential ways with colors of rusty red, yellow, orange and fall hybrid colors. Go for a walk, and you will come across leafs like these below that make you stop and sigh with a "Wow! How is it that this came to be and land here, right in front of me?"
Who can forget the times where the years ahead of you seemed as plenty and as hopeful as a pile of colorful leafs. Those times with friends where you dove into those huge heaps of the crinkling god-like fingerprints left by surrounding trees that stood as tall as giants. Or, when someone had poured out a bag of leafs over you so that you could feel what it was like to be covered in a blanket crafted by Mother Nature herself.
In addition, the "same old streets" are transformed by what appear to be giant, rainbow canopies and gentle beams of light spotlighting some trees and their marvelous colors while leaving others in more subdued shadows. During fall, with the magical leafs and mysterious shadows and light, there is a joyous mystery that seems to encamp at the end of every street beckoning us like a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow. "There's treasure here!" "There's hope for you, just a little further down the road!" Homes that were out of reach, with invisible boundaries and legacies not your own, suddenly are decorated in creative, fun, and welcoming ways. Now you can walk up and get a sweet treat but also see a little something about the persons who live there beyond the cold, brick exteriors they hide behind. Masked marvels and crafty creatures meet for one night only. Take your treat and move your feet, there is plenty yet to see!
I remember the days back then and how much seasons don't really change. However, in some ways they do. Yes, trick or treaters are still out there but nothing like when I was a kid. People are now more frightened of one another...even without the masks. Another example: When I was walking around taking these pictures in my neighborhood, there were two young boys walking and talking ahead of me. Their heads were buried in their cell phones playing games and not noticing anything around them. I would have probably been the same if I was handed such wild technology at their age. After all, I loved my Ninetendo System, but I can't help but wonder what that takes away from people. I remember playing a game with my young friends of simply trying to stay in the rays of the sun and not allowing the shadow of a cloud to touch us. In the fall and summer too, you could see us running down the street from the shadow of a cloud. It was fun even playing with the shadows that the fall brought with it back then. The colors and the different shades of light really filled my mind with imaginative ideas. Such play grounded me in nature. A certain mysterious, comforting, loving vibe can be felt in nature that you can't feel within a video game or behind four walls. I often wonder why we treat nature the way we do and how long it will put up with us.
So, have you gotten out around your own neighborhood to see how it has transformed this fall? As the leafs rise within their glorious moment in the sun and then fall to whither and once again be consumed by the earth, I am reminded of how we too go through cycles of rising and falling. Like the trees, we are sometimes full of life and other times more barren. To every season, there is a turn. There are certain times in our life that will have particular qualities that others do not. Sometimes we feel bombarded with knowledge and knowing and other times we are sure we know nothing much at all. I wish I would remember that more often rather than panic when my leafs fall and I feel more exposed. It is all a part of the journey reflected right in nature itself. If this has got you reflecting or even going around taking photos in your neighborhood, please feel free to share in the comments below. I would love to see what your neighborhood was and is like and how you see fall.
BY ROBERT FROST
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.