And so I stood there as the leaves fell. It’s December and the trees are finally retiring to a flaxen yellow. A cold front is moving through, ushering us from the placid seventies we’ve enjoyed since Halloween. The wind kicks at the piles that have fallen to send them spinning and shakes the trees with a certain devilishness. It lashes at me from behind my coat, its raw tongue reddening my cheeks. I wait for the cars to pass, my two little dogs tucked beside me, and I revel in this extraordinarily simple moment of being showered with autumnal leaves not two weeks from Christmas.
We walk on through the fifty degree air, its delightful frostiness kissing the tip of my nose. The wind follows me like a jealous lover and the leaves come with it. They push past me like impatient Christmas shoppers, encompassing me like a rhythmic crowd. I smile at them, a laugh playing behind my teeth. The very specific human brand of wonder that we somehow manage not to lose.
There’s nothing quite like an accompaniment of leaves for a dance partner. Or the first inklings of cool weather in the air to quell our uniquely human need for physical, all encompassing change. Any small reminder of magic in the air, little signs that only mean something to us, all the coincidental things in our day that subscribe to our superstitions. Human existence is nothing if not confirmation bias. We’ll take anything as prophecy. Perhaps we can’t be blamed. Humans aren’t quite imaginative enough to create magic, only perceptive enough to know it when it comes.