Thursday, October 17, 2013

folk lore.

There is old folklore in New England that if you catch a leaf as it falls from the tree, you will have good luck in the coming year.  Each fall, I try to catch at least one leaf as it makes its way down to earth.  Call it lore, call it superstition, call it magic, call it for what it really is: fun.  If you haven't ever tried to catch a falling leaf, do try it.  Leaves don't fall in a pattern that makes any sense. Some zig and zag, some rocket down to earth in a straight line, and some stay up in the air for a very long time, enjoying a slow, graceful ride as they make their decent.

My children and I have spent much of this fall with our hands up to the sky, running around aimlessly, giggling uncontrollably in the hopes that one colorful leaf will grant us a blessed year.  As an adult, I catch my leaf each year on the first day or so and then I watch as my children are determined to seal their fate in a partnership with nature.  I love watching their determination, and I admire that they never lose sight of the joy or the silliness of this pursuit.

Today Amelia caught her leaf and she beamed with pride as she showed it off.  The leaf is already lost, returned to the earth, but the satisfaction of a job completed will stay with her.  I love the fall.  I love that this time of year teaches me over and over again to stop and breathe in the beauty before me, for it truly is breathtaking.  The fall reminds me to play, to jump in leaf piles, to stomp through leaf-littered trails, to chase a wild leaf's descent.  The fall reminds me that the true beauty of a season, of the earth, of our children is not in its form, but in its essence.  All things change;  leaves fall, landscapes change, children grow, but their beauty, their essence, remains imprinted upon our hearts.

I will continue to watch with joy as the leaves change and I will watch with the same joy as my children chase the last of these falling leaves.  Just as this fall will end and I will say it was much too short, so will my children's childhood.  I want to savor it and breathe it in and I want to witness their rapidly changing form while holding on to the essence of this magical time.

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