Autumn Leaves

I have a photograph on my desk of Axa, half buried in autumn leaves when she was maybe nine months old. I don’t recall the children playing in leaves since then. I don’t remember raking them either, since I was a little girl. We used to always rake our yard and then our neighbors’. It was an easy act of service where you didn’t have to see anyone, which appealed to my shy side. And as a bonus, we got to keep all the leaves we raked and make a huge pile or a leaf fort (snow forts are out in California).

This morning Axa and Raj and I went out and raked leaves under the sycamore tree. We made a respectable little pile, although it did have the disadvantage of being full of prickly seed pods. Raj and I both worked to remove them while Axa raked, but there were just too many. And really, in a leaf pile you’re making to jump into, even one is too many. Still, they left their shoes on and danced around in the leaves. It was fun, and it reminded me of my childhood.

This afternoon during quiet time, the gardener showed up and mowed it all away. Oh, well. I guess more leaves will fall.

I am curiously disinclined to write lately. I write nowhere but this blog. I guess I’m just not ready to see what comes off my virtual pen when I let my mind loose. And even in this blog, I try to focus on the immediate, the concrete, the everyday. I am not able to venture right now into the realm of the infinite, the absolute, or the ideal. Plato and I have parted ways, and I see the eternal in the now. I don’t take care with my sentences or craft them carefully. I just write what’s on the surface of my thoughts. The surface always carries hints of the depths, without giving them away entirely.

Autumn

The leaves are falling, falling as from way off,
as though far gardens withered in the skies;
they are falling with denying gestures.

And in the nights the heavy earth is falling
from all the stars down into loneliness.

We are all falling. This hand falls.
And look at others: it is in them all.

And yet there is one who holds this falling
endlessly gently in his hands.

Rilke