Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Through Their Eyes

Fall is finally upon us here in Seattle, after a summer that extended through most of October. Yesterday, I was outside with two-year-olds, human beings experiencing only their second trip through the seasons.

I was at the top of the hill, singing to them. I had started by singing Fly Like an Eagle because one of them had flapped past me saying, "I'm an eagle." I'm not a good singer, but that doesn't stop me, and it didn't seem to bother the kids as they gathered around, a half dozen of them, to take in my impromptu concert. When I was finished, they continued staring at me, which I took in the spirit of "Encore!" so I launched into Bohemian Rhapsody.

As I sang, a light wind came up, and in a moment we found ourselves in a swirl of leaves, shaken loose from a nearby tree. The children, as one, tipped their heads to the sky, saying, "Leaves!" As the leaves twirled around us we watched silently, awed by this simple miracle. I joined them, saying, "Leaves!" as well. I reached out for one, catching it in my fingertips. I said, "I caught one," holding it up for them to see.

They looked at me, at my leaf, then, again as one, they began picking up leaves from the ground, one at a time. At first I thought they were showing me their leaves the way I had shown them mine, but then I realized they were handing them to me, helping me collect these leaves about which I was clearly enthusiastic. We made a little pile of our leaves on the table upon which I sat.

Then another gust of wind shook the tree's branches and we again tipped our heads to watch them spin around us. We waited for several minutes after the last of them had settled on the ground around us, heads tipped back, watching for it to happen again, anticipating the magic of wind, of leaves, of autumn, of being together outside. The last time the leaves fell they were babies. One day, they will be 56 years old, prone to forgetting to take the time to really see leaves falling. But yesterday I saw them through their eyes, and it was magic.

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