Monday, November 22, 2010

Catching Leaves

I posted this on my freedom blog but decided to share it here as well.

So far this year, the leaves on the big oak in the back yard have been clinging pretty tightly to their branches. Over the past couple of days, they have finally decided to let go. This morning those leaves put on quite a spellbinding waltz as they twirled and perfectly pirouetted to the dance floor beneath them. Rodney piped up once and said "they sure do fly a long ways don't they?" which started me counting seconds. Yep, sipping coffee and seeing just how long any particular leaf could stay in flight.

I told Rodney it was like watching an aquarium. There really is no explaining why it was quite so fascinating but, for some reason, we sat there in a trance. I counted one leaf that floated downward for a full 7 seconds...he was the winner this morning, according to my data.

I couldn't quite capture the thrill of it all with my lens, partly because the wind wasn't blowing when I decided to grab my camera, and partly because I didn't feel like waiting till the wind decided to blow again.

I headed out into the mystical morning dawning my big ol rubber boots but decided to leave the umbrella behind. No, I wanted to be in it, to absorb the moist autumn air, and even let it mess up my hair. After I fed the goats and bunnies, I started back to the house but thought I'd try to see if I could catch one of those falling leaves first.

I stood staring up at the tree, waiting. My glasses became foggy and covered with drops of rain but, here came a leaf! I ran towards it but it escaped my fingers with ease. Now this was a challenge between me and the tree (and the wind, and the rain, and my own skill and balance). I found myself laughing out loud as I missed one after the other. They would seemingly head strait for me and then, as if tied to an invisible string, would dart away. Emma became very excited by what I was doing and wanted to play too, she just wasn't sure exactly what her part in it was. Finally, I caught one. It was a great victory.

My trophy (along with the pear I intend to eat later today). I momentarily thought "what a waste of time, counting seconds of leaves falling and running around like an idiot in the rain". Then I went back to that idea of being authentic. I feel better this morning than I've felt in a while. Perhaps there is healing and a connection with God in the moments we "waste". If God puts on a show of waltzing leaves, it might just behoove us to take a second to watch it. And if you feel the need to play a game with a tree, there is probably not a more constructive use of your time.

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