In the early pre-dawn light of my morning run I was startled from my daydreaming by a blanket of yellow leaves stretching out before me with each leaf catching what little light there was. A breath of breeze touched the leaves. They stirred. I could not resist the urge to swing my leg and kick at the moving leaves. My kick resulted in a swirl and then a dance of yellow that seemed to explode from the blanket. I giggled. I kicked again. More leaves swirled and danced.
As I ran on, at the end of the blanket of yellow was a ring of red. A perfect circle of red maple leaves making a ring around the tree from which they fell. I looked at the ring and its perfection and was fascinated. A breeze touched these leaves as well. They danced and shuddered and seemed to shimmer in the early morning light as that light pierced the trees where once the leaves held sway.
Falling leaves are a sign and a symbol of a season change. Their beauty leads the imagination to ponder the magical nature of autumn.
Because of the magic of fall I engaged in the equally magical gift of memory. As I watched the leaves, from a variety trees, forming colorful blankets and rings around the trees, leaves that were not there yesterday, leaves that magically fell with hard frost, I remembered square dancing when I was in the 8th grade.
I heard the caller’s cry, attempting to teach the gangly and uncoordinated, the gift of dance. “Cast a shadow” she said, which was followed by “allemande left,” “right and left grand,” promenade, Belles and Beaus, explode the line, and the ever mysterious call I could never get right, “clover cross clover.” I was back on the stage of my high school and we were attempting to dance. We really mimicked the leaves–our colorful shirts and dress jeans, white blouses and colorful flared skirts and petty coats for the girls. Every once in a while we all clicked and became part of the call and the music. It was magical. It was the kind of magic that overcomes you in the pre-dawn of a fall day, when the air is crisp and the leaves are dancing and your imagination runs wild and returns to another time and place.
Write a story about the leaves you have seen dance this autumn. Write about leaves that are dancing in their colorful splendor. Write about dancing and music and how we try to put what nature teaches us to music and words. Write what you see as the season changes and the leaves teach us to see once again the autumn mystery and magic.