‘Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.’ Jack Kerouac
There is no faster running river than life itself. Time waits on no one and makes no concessions. It’s truly a case of take what you can when you can. I can take today’s rainy morning, my gaze stolen by the golden leaves of the silver maple in the front yard. Kissed by water droplets, some of the leaves dance a last dance as they trail downwards to rest on the grass.
Resenting no day for being too sunny, too cloudy, too unfit for human consumption but taking each hour of every day with the ravishing hunger of the one knowing that food like that is scarce, and, at the same time, relishing the morsels to the last tinge of vanishing taste. The promise of more in each mouthful is an open-end invitation.
In the fall, colours are on the menu. Yesterday the boys sketched the veins and contours of all the leaves in our yard. ‘When you take the time to draw leaves you see more of what they are,’ big boy says, not knowing that in saying that he stumbled upon one of the biggest secret of life: Lend your eyes, your ears, your hands, all your senses, lend your heart to the world around, stay long enough and you’ll understand more.
Why do leaves turn yellow and red? Should we learn of magic in our school? Nothing short of miracles, leaves turning fiery colours point to the necessary amendments. It is so. Magic we shall call it. It calls for reverence, curiosity and joy.
Yesterday the boys learned of leaves, of the miracle backwards breathing they do so they allow us to do ours. Gifts to live by. A mouthful of oxygen with every leafful branch, the gift of countless breaths waiting on us each day…
What happens to leaves as they fall? They follow the unwritten rules of the world unseen, they become food for life we see and often cringe at the sight of. Bugs of sorts, fungi and worms, factories of rottenness that clip molecules and spread them in the ground for next round of growth and wonder. Unassuming guardians of life.
To see is to wonder. Stop long enough to see and you’ll see more… the boy said. We did so in late afternoon. We strolled on a path of dirt rolling through hills of yellow grass tied with sparkling golden braids of sun escaping from dark clouds every now and then.
Colours to feed on. To walk silently is not to be a thought recluse of some sort but to let the rest of you soak the time and its flavours, colours and sounds. To walk silently is to bow to the uniqueness of being in a moment so rich you can only ask your thoughts to sit, quiet and humbled in that cathedral of beauty, waiting for the songs unfolding to quiet down, wishing they never will because the story they tell is so much better than any story you could say with words….
The dirt path leads to a patch of trees sheltering an old cattle water trough. Crickets took residence in nearby tall dry grasses, and their chirping is the summer-end gift that reminds of childhood moonlit fall nights when the grape-loaded vine draped low and fragrant over the green bench I would sit on, not ready, not ever, to say goodnight to days that seemed to dance away too fast. Even then…
We sit on rocks jutting out of the dirt, old and grey and covered with dry moss. The river runs down in the valley, there are hills that take the story of the horizon into where all becomes blue and spills into the sky, and the cars on faraway highways look like bugs. The buzz is not deafening like it is when in the city, a mere reminder with no loud stomping.
To find places where no loud noises exist is to feed the hunger for wonder that allows us to see and mind time, its passing and understand the beauty of the temporary. To be in awe of it. To find yourself renewed is to find, yet again, the place from where you can start again.
To live. To learn to see. To keep on dancing, because the music never stops, no matter how quiet the moment we’re in…