There is a wall at the end of the grassy lane where Duncan and I walk in the morning and again at night. On both sides of that wall the trees have turned the most brilliant shades of Autumn and beneath them the light glows a buttery cinnamon color and the air is sweet and heavy and flavorful on the tongue. For the last few weeks we have watched the progress of the leaves erupting from the tree and the slow but steady growth of the empty space around them as more and more find their way to ground below. The light has changed slowly as the canopy above has frayed, but the ground, a pleasant but single shade of green, has tattooed itself in celebration with the red and golden bodies it espied enviously all Summer.
The most marvelous thing about the wall and the corner where it sits is the delight the wind takes in traipsing through it. This morning, the street calm and quiet, the light still low but bright, Duncan and I followed the grassy lane down to the wall and gasped at the festival awaiting our arrival. As the leaves were finally letting go of their roost, the only place they have ever known, the wind fluttered and swirled around the base of the trees, pulling the bodies which had already settled there into the air and flung them in wide, playful eddies around the trunks where they mingled and danced with those who were only just making the journey to the ground. Families of leaves rose up to meet the stalwart who had held out for so long, tickled their crimson skins and coaxed them free of the branches where they swept far and wide and low. Duncan and I watched the leaves rise up even as others fell. He wagged his tail as his feet danced before him, then cocked his head and looked at me, curious for an explanation but content with the magic of not being given one.
In this time of transition, from vibrant life to stark hibernation, I wonder if The Universe will rejoice at our own passing in a similar manner, stirring the spirits who have gone before us into joyful revelry as they escort us from the only place we have known into rapture and oblivion.