Right now, these are my thoughts. I have no notebook or computer with me on hand, so I might write this down later.
One of my favorite things is watching the wind blow those little orange leaves gently across the sidewalk. Sometimes I even wonder if someone were to have to time (and the same strange curious bent that I seem to have), if they could count them all. But then, at the same time, I think it’s the mystery of not knowing that makes it that much more beautiful. The fact that you can’t count every single one of them makes you sit back and rest in the knowledge that a) you don’t really need to know how many leaves blanket the edges of busy streets, and b) why take all the time and work to count the individual leaves when you can just sit and admire them as a whole?
More often than not, I pick up one of those leaves, twist the stem between my fingertips, and not notice anything particularly special or different about it, compared to the other ones. And yet when they’re all collected, on the ground, in all their various shapes and hues, then it presses something in me that sees it as special. Like the exact moment you are looking at the whole scope of the street – with the man in a trench coat hurrying to a nearby cab under the promising sign of rain, the old vintage sign at the corner that probably needs repainted, a lovely woman getting out her little red umbrella – all of this to make one single striking picture almost as good to be on the cover of a glossy magazine like the ones in the tear-streaked window of the nearby bookstore. Almost. But not quite. Maybe some moments like this are better untouched by the flash and click of the camera.
So when I have a breath, I sit down for a spell on a wet wooden bench. But I don’t mind. It’s hardly a sacrifice when I get to watch an idyllic October evening unfold like this. Private contemplation is as necessary for me to function as chocolate and wine and bubble baths are for others.
I look down and see that I’m still holding the same leaf I was a half-hour ago, feeling it tickle against the palm of my hand. Strangers quickly pass by with their chin tucked under them, avoiding the rain drops that are now trickling from the edge of their coats. They only give me a swift glance, at first of judgement, I thought, but I think they are only squinting against the mercilessly harsh wind against their faces.
Maybe we are all leaves.