The Moment Autumn Began

From the Archives This was initially posted on September 3, 2014, following a hike in the Columbia River Gorge.

Photo by Tim Graves

I watched as it caught the wind.

Gently to my right,
then my left,
over this way and that,
the brown leaf rode the invisible air.

Westward, then that way
and downward it slowly moved
until it came to rest amid
the blades of green
and the seed-bearing cones.

Pausing to acknowledge its journey,
I knelt on rock and soil.

Packed clay and sharp stones
greeted my middle-aged knees
as I thanked the brittle leaf
for the joy it had given me as
hope bloomed in emerging spring.

I eulogized the formerly green one
that had cooled me in its summer shade.
I bid farewell as it embraced its journey
toward becoming nourishment for the seeds of cones,
and the acorns of its descendants.

Our paths intersected,
in the moment that autumn began,
the brittle one and I,
and diverged again as our journeys continued.

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