The leaves here peaked at least three weeks ago. They were beautiful, as they are every year. I didn’t realize how much I missed a real autumn when I lived in Arizona. The leaves there turned, too. It just happened to the Cottonwoods along the rivers and creek beds…in January, for heaven’s sake. And they are only yellow. Not the vivid reds that I find underfoot in my North Carolina piedmont neighborhood.
So when I walk everyday, which I do three or four times, I find myself picking up leaves. I am compelled. Even when I try not to, I come home with a handful. This week, the leaves on the ground seem exceptionally beautiful, and I am not sure why, but I have a theory.
The last ones are the best because they have longer to just be. There is something to be said for being among the last, rather than the first. As a late bloomer, I can see this first hand. Maybe that is what calls me to embrace these last, but brilliant bits of color.