I have trod leafy paths when the sun shone over the last few days.
I have loved the crunch and thickness of strewn leaves; their slickness after rain and snap after sun; their motley, mottled spots of brown, black, orange, scarlet, maroon, olive, lime, lemon, ochre; their saw-tooth edges, rounded palm patterns, spiky fingers; their tiny spirits and oversized souls. Their sounds and musky odors take me back to childhood fall when my father raked them on Saturdays, making large, loose piles humped and lumped over the large and wooded yard and in the driveway. For hours, I played in those piles with my marmalade cat, one of us hiding, the other pawing in or out, bits of leaf stuck like dead moths to skin and hair, fur and foot. Walking Sewanee's winding paths, I explore the paths of color and shape, years and travel, wandering past and present, wondering about direction, the turns and shadows of dying and breaking sunny sky, the pleasures of burning life flickering before sleep and spring.
I love paths and the crunching of leaves.