October 9, 2014

red autumn leaves

How do trees grow into trees?

The question she asks every day, staring through her car window as the leaves blur past.

How do trees grow into trees?

We talk about tiny seeds growing into strong green things, about water and sunlight and photosynthesis.  About reaching our arms toward the sky and stretching our roots into the ground.

She nods along to our answers, happy just to have asked the question.  Because every day, the trees are a wonder.  I want to be filled with wonder, too.  To stand outside in the world and feel small.  It is important to feel small, sometimes, I think.

The leaves are changing color, she says.  Some are red and orange.  Some are yellow like my pee.  

The whole car laughs.  She has the truth of it, I suppose.

And soon some of the leaves will fall down.


At night we watch the sky darkening over the tree tops.  Layers and layers of leaves, shimmering in the breeze like tossed confetti, their undersides catching the last bit of sun.

Do you want me to knit you a blanket for your bed?  I ask.  The air is cooling, the sunlight fading every day.

Yes, she says.  Dark green.

And again I think of the forest, and all of its autumn secrets.  The beetles scuttling across the ground, mushrooms blooming in dark, wet places.  The smell of leaves turning back into earth.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply