Just as I rounded the corner a gust of wind shook the trees. The leaves- the beautiful leaves- swirled down in a gentle dance, showering me as I passed through. The dance was the same as the ones performed while we’d linger on the swings waiting for my brave one to finish his day at school. When the treetops would wave in the distance, I would look to her and give her a nod. Instantly she would turn, wide eyed, as if it was the first time she was seeing what was to unfold even though it was the third or fourth performance of the afternoon. Wide eyed with anticipation but never for a minute questioning the beauty that was about to surround her.
The wind that shook the trees in the distance would arrive and kiss our face- a greeting and introduction. She would launch from her swing and run towards the cascade of color. Palms up to the falling leaves, she’d delight as they fell around her. When she managed to catch one of the leaves, she would announce, “Mama Look” as if it was the first autumn leaf she had ever seen. As she’d done with the others she’d collected- she’s tuck it into her pocket.
As seasons change, as time continues to march forward, I’ve come to realize the simple memories speak loudest. These are the moments that stop me in my track and leave me breathless. They are the moments when my heart aches for her and what was. And yet it is in these the same moments I am gently nudged forward and reminded of the way to walk.
As I rounded that corner and the falling leaves showered me, I could see her joining in the dance. I could hear her delighting in the cascade of color. I could feel her in the celebration of fall. I held my hand out to catch the final leaf linger behind in the dance and just as I caught it I looked to the sky and whispered, “Catherine look.”