love can be a collision
in which two selves realize profoundly they ought to belong to each other
--Karol Wojtyła, The Jeweler's Shop
the lush green grass under my feet suddenly giving way to the bright colors of autumn.
Surprised, because the calendar says it's still summer, I stared at the little leaves the maple shed.
I ran on --but time ran faster.
The trees were already preparing themselves for the end of high summer and the advent of the flaming days of October.
October crashed into August with each of those tiny maple leaves, which kicked up a whirling red storm of nature as I dashed through them.
I slowed to a walk, my eyes glued to the ground as I examined each leaf admiringly.
My eyes darted from one leaf to the next--each one was perfectly beautiful, and unlike any other.
My eyes grew exhausted from discovering beauty after beauty.
So I looked up, set my eyes ahead of me, and thought of nothing but of moving forward.
A little leaf popped into my peripheral vision.
I tried to ignore it, but it insisted I pay attention.
It was like a perfect star--five graceful points, its little veins following the gentle swoop of its sides. It was beautifully tinted an ombre spectrum of orange to scarlet. It was less vivid than its more flamboyant brothers, but it wore its colors proudly and with charm.
I stopped completely to wonder at this miniature marvel.
My hand trembled in the void that stood between myself and this leaf.
Every muscle in my hand was tensed, ready to leap out to grasp this leaf. No, no, no, thought I.
I will not keep on collecting leaves.
My same little aqua planner, that once held mountains of leaves in the back of its pages, was now a bit older and had Important Grown-Up Things to do, and really did not have the space or time to carry leaves anymore. Those leaves would perhaps just have to wait for another time, another day.
Sometimes filling up a planner with other things is a wonderful excuse to ignore the leaves that clamor to have a place inside of it.
And yet, I reached down to pick up the leaf.
What else could I do?
I took it up, and held it.
It danced gently in the palm of my hand, blown about by the wind.
I walked home a bit happier for holding the leaf in my hand.
And I stuck it inside the cover of the planner.
Because there are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who are able to appreciate leaves from afar, and the ones who, annoying and inconvenient and impractical as it may be, cannot refuse a little leaf a home in their hand.