It’s early November in Ohio
and it should be cold outside

I should be out in the yard
wearing long underwear
toting a noisy leaf blower
pushing leaves of Oak and
Maple across the lawn

Across the lawn into the
woods where they will
spend the winter

With all the leaves from
all the Novembers for
the last 25 years

But today is brilliant,
sunny and warm

To celebrate we’re having
lunch outside on the patio

We’ve already put the outside furniture
in the barn, so we grab chairs from
the dining room and take them outside

It’s weird sitting on the inside chairs outside,
but I think I like it better

There’s no umbrella above us,
just clear blue sky and puffy clouds

Without warning, and with her broad
beautiful smile, my daughter looks up,
opens her arms wide and says
“here they come!”

Then she laughs her deep throaty laugh,
the one that makes happy every time I hear it

I follow her gaze and immediately see hundreds,
probably thousands of leaves raining down on us

They’re coming down like confetti on the Thanksgiving
Day parade

As they land they make a sound that is both heavy
and brittle at the same time

Mottled gold and reddish orange they fall on our
heads and our lunch plates as we instinctively
hunch over our food to protect it

Laughing and enjoying the crazy moment,
all of us, together in the sun

But just as the leaves had their season in the trees
so does our joyous time together

The conversation and laughter soon dies and we
clear off the table, sending the leaves to the ground

They make a soft clattering noise at our feet
forgotten even before they hit the bricks

We move on to the next thing that is suddenly important

Something that captures our attention and focus,
until it doesn’t anymore

Then, like the leaves, they are casually
swept to the ground

And then, into the woods

To wait their turn, to become joyous again.