I have been treading on leaves all day until I am autumn- tired.
Robert Frost, A Leaf Treader
Fallen leaves are adrift in my yard, filling streets and sidewalks, gathering in front of walls and fences. When I walk to CVS, I have to wade through a knee deep stretch of them. They are a beautiful red-gold-brown hindrance to my quick pace, and they smell wonderful. Sharp and earthy, crunchy and scratchy perfume.
Autumn-tired. Not from skipping over but from treading on leaves all day. Walking over what shaded me on a hot summer day. Treading on the final form of what began as small green knots, a Spring promise that new life was on its way. To put underfoot the last blaze of glory, muddying up New England’s Fall miracle, makes me a special kind of tired. Autumn-tired.
Raking and jumping in them is exhilarating, running through them a joy. Perhaps treading on them is so exhausting because there’s a darkness to it. It’s a callous soul who can put boot or shoe upon such God created and sustained beauty without remorse or regret.
Robert Frost’s A Leaf Treader can be found in Robert Frost’s Poems(New Enlarged Anthology), New York: Washington Square Press/Pocket Books, 1971, pg. 237
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