So, how can such a small piece of nature evoke so many vivid images for me? Cupping this leaf in my hands, I reminisced of jumping in piles of leaves with my siblings growing up in rural Connecticut. Oh how I miss those days. I remembered the family hay rides, picking apples in our local orchard and rambling through pumpkin patches. I miss watching my Dad rake leaves into the woods behind our house. I closed my eyes and tried to breathe in any possible hint of that musky smell of autumn but alas, there was nothing.
What did come to mind were fields of corn stalks, azure blue autumn skies, cool nights with soft breezes, sparkling, crystal clear fall days and geese honking overhead. Mums, gourds, warm sweaters and sweatshirts, ag fairs with oxen and draft horse pulls, candied apples, cider donuts and fritters, and of course, my annual trek to Vermont for foliage season that is soon to begin. My heart fluttered for a moment.
Oh, this single red maple leaf - a simple connection between me and my inescapable love affair with fall. I gently left that tiny red leaf hidden in the grass so as not to be stepped upon. I looked behind me and it seemed to be watching me as I continued on my way. I swear it winked at me! So I smiled back. My dear, dear harbinger of things to come.
Cheers! And here's to the little red maple leaf!