As the Leaf Fell

  Once upon a time there stood a tree. 

    Where it stood is much in question. But that it stood is not in question at all. For it was from this tree that the first leaf fell.

     It fell in bitter mourning, ripped from its mother branch. Its body had changed, no longer yellow-green and fertile, with a crispness to its bearing. And so it was that with the first breath of the wind, it was plucked with ease—for it had already begun to die.

     With grave sorrow the leaf turned to the ground. 

     But the wind sighed unexpectedly.

    Up and about it twirled, higher and higher, and it could see the sun before it rose and the stars in all their massed splendor. 

     Higher still it flew until green lands faded into blue sea and all the world looked round.

    The leaf did not notice that its color had changed from green to orange to red and was now brown. Nor that its edges were brittle. For its life’s end had come about in wonder. And when the wind ceased its long exhale, and the leaf came at last to the ground, it met the dirt with kindness knowing it once had lived.

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