Friday, September 28, 2012

free falling or dancing in the wind?

Yesterday while out doing mundane errands {that I'd put off for as long as possible...I hate getting license plate renewal tags}, I had a Moment.

It was not a Moment of epiphany, nor one of any huge significance, but time stood still and I just...watched.

I was driving out of Old Town, approaching the University and got stopped at the light.  And then I marveled at the light.  No, not the stoplight, but that September lighting that always seems to captivate me.  That gold-washed luminescence that seems to bathe everything in a radiant amber; it's a fleeting phenomenon, this seasonal aura seems to dissipate with the shift in axial angle of the earth and something compelled me to just watch it, because... Just because.

As I did, I watched the cars pass in the east-west thoroughfare ahead of me, and with them, the leaves that scurried back and forth on the bustling street between them.  Leaves that, with the breezy hands of the wind, had only just begun their descent to their final destination.  For some reason, the combination of the lighting, cars, and leaves triggered old memories of watching The Red Balloon filmstrip in grade school.  I guess it just felt like an indie film scene?

I remember thinking about the lifespan of the leaves, and how crazy it must be to just release one day and float down towards the end of the road.  Yeah, I know, they're leaves, but sometimes I'm abstract like that.

{On a recent phone call, my mom reminded me of one such instance when I was 13; an old tuna cannery had been shut down and demolished and as we passed the site, I pondered aloud whether the building's bricks and mortar felt sad to come to an end....I'd forgotten about that until she reminded me}

But then, a maple leaf, a rather large one, caught my eye as it began to float down gracefully before me, somersaulting and cartwheeling freely, and then it flew.  It landed on an air pocket that lifted it back into the atmosphere, giving it more time to skydance.  And my heart warmed, thinking of those who've buoyed me back up in times where it seemed like the only possible way to go was down.

And then the universe cued Tom Petty on the radio, not even joking,
learning to fly / but I ain't got wings / coming down / is the hardest thing

Story of my life, I thought to myself.  But there is a beauty in that hardest thing.  

But is there?  Or is the real beauty in those, seen and unseen, who give just a little to lift others up, like that air pocket?  Because the skydancing that resulted in that little shift was entrancing.  Made time stand still for a frazzled mama.  And that is no small thing.  Calgon, you got nuthin on this.

If a leaf can do that, what impact can we have on the world if we strive to help others dance in the air?


  1. Oh, Heather, what a lovely, visual piece of writing. Seriously, so beautiful. Awesome to see a post from you in my reader - it's been a long time!

    1. Thanks, Jen. I just couldn't keep it to myself, ;) I'm surprised you still have me in your reader...I've been so blog-dormant for so long. Thanks for keeping up with me.

  2. What kindred spirits we are. I too have often wondered at the sadness of the bricks and mortar as the building comes down, the leaves dancing in the wind.

    Perhaps someday we will grow up, and stop thinking like this. But it ain't gonna be very soon!