Fall Palette

by Marion L. Ritcey

Winding along the country road Mother Nature had used her best palette to color the trees. They were in their glory. The leaves were the colors of a beautiful fall: reds, oranges, yellows and mahogany. They were falling like snow flakes, but not snow, just beautiful colored leaves. They seemed to dance all the way to the lawns and sidewalks like ballet dancers or street dancers Some even looked like an Irish step dancers, the breeze spinning them around, sending them full circle or in a quick dive to the ground.

The maple leaves looked like they belonged on the water tumbling through the falls, rocks catching the bigger ones, holding them in  small pools, then sending them on their way. Some not making it to the ground, caught in branches, waiting for the wind to toss them again. These seemed to float slowly to the ground like a ballerina dances on her toes. She would spin round and round then fall to the dirt with the rest of her troop. Others would whirl like break dancers on the street corners. Only to spin themselves out as if tired. They would slow down to rest till the wind tossed them up. The Irish Jig leaves jumped, spinning, tossed up and down, till the jig ended. Then they were still, as if waiting for the audience to applaud their dance. The pine needles covered the green grass turning it a soft brown. We used the needles to help our plants through the winter, keeping them warm.

The carpet the fallen leaves made on the soft earth transformed in spring, feeding the next generation of maple, birch, poplar and pine trees.  All so the lush forest could continue for us to enjoy and our grandchildren to learn from.

When you walk on a mountain path in winter, think of the leaves underfoot and how they help us. In spring they give us hope of rebirth, in summer they cool the air with shade and breeze, in fall they transformed by the color. In winter there are no leaves, so we get more sun to enjoy. Sometimes I think the breeze in winter through the bare trees is a symphony to calm and remind us of the up coming spring. We can watch the branches bend to and fro holding the snow till the sun’s warmth melts it, or maybe even breaking under the weight of an ice storm.