Oct. 19, 1944
The wind rattles at the window panes and the branches of the trees sway from side to side. The leaves are twirled in the wild merry-go-round of the wind until they sink to rest on the earth. A fresh gust brings more leaves and these mingle with the others in a whirling dance of death.
Along the edge of the road, the leaves find peace and many snuggle up close together. That is what you have been hoping for, for now you can walk through the leaves and listen to their whisperings. What if your shoes are new? It isn’t as if you were bouncing a pebble along. The leaves can’t hurt your shoes so on the way home from school you walk through the leaves.
Slowly you start to kick up leaves into the air so that you can hear their swansong once again. Their curious song telling of their loves and adventures. Listen!
“When we woke the gentle south wind caressed us and the warm spring rain kissed and soothed us. In summer we watched the rain clean the dusty grass and then the grass withered and died under the sun’s heat. And only a few nights ago when the air was already cool and tangy we found ourselves all glittering with shiny, silver crystals. This must be our last dress for the ball, we thought. The old one, who was even withered when we came, said we would one day get new ones. But no, for when the sun came he cruelly robbed us of our jewels. Then one day we looked at each other and lo, we were clothed in the finest of raiment. Gold and crimson and purple. Surely these were our ball dresses. And then the dance started. Our partner was the wind, the gay dashing wind, and one by one he led us on a wild dance until we were glad to rest. But our biggest adventures …”
Their whisperings stop. You have reached the end of the leaves. Slowly you continue down the road, your shoes dusty from the leaves, and think of what you have heard, and you wonder.
5 thoughts on “Leaves”
That’s beautiful Erika: an enchantment, and of course deeply poignant.
Thank you John. I was 15. And must have had a good teacher.
Erika Quite an ominous tone to this seemingly optimistic and poetic piece – you wrote it in 1944-WWII?—just after the Normandy invasion—wonder if that was coloring your thoughts then?
Here all is pretty much the same as time slips through the hourglass faster and faster during this crazy pandemic. The news gets worse and worse —unbearable to read and watch.
Having finished Cloud Cuckoo Land, I turned to his first Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See and that is also a terrific read and inspiring. Although I am crawling along in my own writing with enormous frustration at my waning intellectual powers. I have decided that I will give up trying to publish and simply enjoy the act of writing. An inch at a time if that is what it must be… of course you continue to stagger and inspire me with your work.
Meanwhile I sit here now with my belly swollen with immunoglobulin, like a skinny pregnant lady bearing twins. It will take two days to be absorbed…
In Florence, one week after getting vaccinated, Costanza got Covid and now apparently Vincenzo too—and the family is quarantined but with minor symptoms thanks to the vaccinations.
You know I post old photos of Italy— salve for not being there. I guess that is my version of you folio’s of the past. I always took the snapshots in lieu of writing as a way to capture memories. Thing is I will run out one day soon… I guess we all do. Always the question of when and if we’ll be able to return?
Be well! Keep the writing coming! 🙏❤️
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How lucky Claudio, Lamberto and Costanza are to have the memories of their 15 year-old mother and grandmother – so elegant and filled with grace.
Much love and appreciation,
Marilyn and Steve
Thank you. Miss you.