Autumn has always been my favorite season. I love the colors of autumn — oranges that morph into burnt siennas, then browns, burgundys and olive greens — those colors that will create a beautiful picture regardless of the subject matter, just because of the way they blend. I’ve done the “touristy” thing of riding along the mountainside to see the changing of the leaves. But driving by at 55mph, or 25mph for that matter, I was never able to see the depth of the leaves’ beauty as I was today — standing completely still.

A tree caught my eye today that I’m sure I’ve looked at before but never saw. Its leaves were taking a bow as if in praise that I finally noticed their brilliance; taking a bow not in defeat of their lives about to change forms, but as if they had performed the final scene of a play and the curtain was about to close; taking a bow and waiting for my applause.

Today I did applaud. I applauded the leaves’ brilliance. I applauded their strength in the face of change. I applauded their fall to Earth as they released their beauty. I applauded their grace as they effortlessly swayed to the rhythm of the breeze that only they could hear — the breeze that blows by us but through their souls.

(Originally published in e-Artella #4, entitled “Autumn.”)