Dead Leaves Running

Dead Leaves Running
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by Neva J. Howell

Where the Magic Lives

I took a walk this afternoon, ordinary until it was magic.

As I strolled down the sun-spackled gravel road, in a startling moment, I witnessed a marvel. It was just leaves but oh, it was magic. I saw about a hundred dead leaves all lifted by the wind simultaneously onto the gravel in front of me and, carried in perfect syncopation with the wind, they looked just like very small, leafy people running.

Then, the wind left them and all 100 or so leaves fell to the gravel, still, in another stunning moment. I stumbled, mid-step, at the majesty of it.

I was stunned by the flawless and effortless synchronicity of the leaf nation. I wondered, what could be more rich, more full, more miraculous than what is in this moment? Is every moment like that? Why don’t I see dead leaves running more often?

I knew the answer. I was more often in other moments – moments that had come before or moments I wish would come now, moments I hoped were coming – more precisely, I was more often in pretend moments, moments that did not exist except in my own mind.

Dead leaves running cannot be witnessed there, though a pale memory can pull back the idea of it. Miracles like that are only seen here, now.

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