Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Deeper Looks at Leaves

We may be at peak leaf week in DC.  I was away for a week-end, and suddenly trees have burst into flame:

I was walking yesterday, marveling at this particular tree, and I saw a student walking with his head bent down, staring not as his phone but at the sidewalk.  For one minute, I thought about becoming the crazy leaf lady, evangelist for fall colors.

But then I thought, maybe I am the foolish one, staring gape-mouthed at the trees.  Maybe he's avoiding sights like this one, trees close to being done for the season.  

Maybe he's avoiding the sadness that comes from knowing how the story ends.

These are all trees from the same walk yesterday.  I am intrigued by how the leaves change color at a different rate, and I understand the broad reasons, the science of water and weather that results in leaf color.

I also picked up leaves from the wet, black streets.  I held them to the blank canvas of the cinderblock walls for a different contrast.

My plan is to do some sketching, to see if I can capture some colors, the way I did at the beginning of October.

But I'm also enjoying just having them scattered around my seminary apartment, watching as they dry and curl.  This picture shows the difference that 20 hours makes.

And yes, I see the metaphor, the symbol, the larger message.  I'm working on a poem, that's quickly becoming a series of poems, that tries to capture these ideas.

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