We have two giant maple trees in our backyard. Silver maples? In any case, while they both look lovely in fall, the leaves on the wester of the two (you know . . . more west than the other one) always become just shockingly, unabashedly RED. SO so red. Completely and boldly. (The other maple is a bit more interested in nuance and subtlety [or maybe just isn’t quite as confident and showy as the other].) From the couch in our living room I look up through our highest windows and see nothing but these dramatically red leaves pitched against blue blue sky. It’s the most lovely thing in the world. And I don’t know what it is about fall leaves – maybe just their fleeting nature – but I find that my adoration and love for them is always rimmed with panic over the fact that their being here means . . . they will soon be gone. The only time I feel this sensation more keenly is with one of my brand new newborns. And it’s just leaves! Is it more than leaves? Is it that whole constant ill-fitting nature of earth life? The one where our spirits chafe against the unfamiliar nature of endings when we are built to feel and keep every good thing eternally?
I don’t know. Maybe I just really love fall leaves. When I’m looking at them I find myself doubting that I could ever grow accustomed to them or take them for granted like I often do with their green summer selves.
Of course those top pictures didn’t actually showcase that particular tree – just general backyard fallness; and these last pics showed our maples a few weeks before the color change (along with Summer . . . who, every single day, takes off whatever I have put her in . . . in favor of summery tops, and several layers of shorts and skirts). But the pictures seemed close enough to whatever I was trying to express.
Anyway, we went for a little hike with the kids between conference sessions several weeks ago. Hiking with three toddler/babies always begins full joy and excitement. That lasts about 15 minutes before both Mette and Summer are crying and refusing to walk and insisting that only I will do for holding them. Nevertheless . . . it’s good to get out with our little crew. (Even if we have to send Abe to go find the van and drive it to meet us at an early exit off the trail rather than finish the whole hike as planned. And don’t worry. That face he is making in the first picture below is just in jest. Mostly.)