The Sound Of Autumn Falling

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, November 10, 2011

The large dry leaves near the river sounded just like footsteps, leaves dropping on leaves prompting us to turn our heads more than once to see who was coming.

We stopped and decided to just close our eyes and simply listen to fall on the first day without Daylight Saving Time.

Autumn was catching up with us, falling all around the River Trail at James River State Park last Sunday.

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And there was never just one leaf falling. Either every leaf clung to its place out on a limb or clusters of them parachuted to the ground together for half a minute at a time.

A huddle of maples seemed to audition for snow globe manufacturers, laying down a carpet of leaves so thick it covered a wooden bridge and its railings in a blizzard effect.

Canada geese suddenly announce themselves, flying upstream in perfect formation just a few feet above the light-dappled current that shone with the reflection of sunlight and the presence of yellow leaves both upon and beneath its surface.

The ripples of sunlight skipping off the water as the day began to wane traveled down the length of bank-hugging trees, from top limbs to trunks, disappearing into roots beneath the grass.

The wind provides these leaves with one more flight of fancy and we reach out to catch some few of them with upturned baseball caps in hand-a last farewell to summer?-smiling even at the leaves that got away, glad that the day and its light embraced all who sought a place for their lives within its hour-shortened shining.

The memory of its kindling is undiminished.