Can you believe I’ve never jumped in a pile of leaves?
Sadly, I had really horrible allergies as a kid, and even being around a pile of leaves was a sure recipe for ending up in the ER, unable to breathe and puffed up like the marshmallow man.
So I’d watch all those great fall commercials on TV, with the father stylishly raking the leaves, and the kids and the yellow lab jumping in the piles, and wish that I wasn’t so broken so I could play in the leafpiles, too.
Instead, I’d examine individual leaves.
I did the scientist thing: I’d pick up one maple leaf (the most common tree in our neighborhood), and painstakingly look at all the details. All the dark green veins and the subtle, mottled color variations, and the way the edge was serrated and smooth, all at once. I’d put the prettiest ones in one of the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica that my parents got from somewhere, and even though they never kept the exact fall colors, would take them back out and admire them again in the middle of winter before they disintegrated (as leaves are wont to do).
The changing of the leaves is an integral part of Fall.
Without the profusion of color and the sudden palette changes, it just wouldn’t feel like autumn at all.
Today, do an old-fashioned leaf rubbing or two.
Grab a crayon and some paper, and take impressions of some of the leaves in your neighborhood or yard. Color them in, if you want, or leave them as-is. Write about your experiences with leaves, or what the colors remind you of, or the last time you jumped into a pile of them.