Leaf peeping in Texas is more like leaf hunting. Which, it seems to me, makes this giant, Trinitarian-shaped leaf I found in our neighborhood park even more valuable!
from The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry [currently reading with the Liturgy of Life Reading Group]:
"I have been walking in the woods, and have lain down on the ground to rest. It is the middle of October, and around me, all through the woods, the leaves are quietly sifting down. The newly fallen leaves make a dry, comfortable bed, and I lie easy, coming to rest within myself as I seem to do nowadays only when I am in the woods.
And now a leaf, spiraling down in wild flight, lands on my shirt at about the third button below the collar. At first I am bemused and mystified by the coincidence -- that the leaf should have been so hung, weighted and shaped, so ready to fall, so nudged loose and slanted by the breeze, as to fall where I, by the same delicacy of circumstance, happened to be lying. The event, among all its ramifying causes and considerations, and finally its mysteries, begins to take on the magnitude of history. Portent begins to dwell in it.
And suddenly I apprehend in it the dark proposals of the ground. Under the fallen leaf my breastbone burns with imminent decay. Other leaves fall. My body begins its long shudder into humus. I feel my substance escape me, carried into the mold by beetles and worms. Days, winds, seasons pass over me as I sink under the leaves. For a time only sight is left me, a passive awareness of the sky overhead, birds crossing, the mazed interreaching of the treetops, the leaves falling -- and then that, too, sinks away. It is acceptable to me, and I am at peace.
When I move to go, it is as though I rise up out of the world."
(Wendell Berry, "A Native Hill", 1969)
[currently reading with the Liturgy of Life Reading Group]