Book of Leaves

There was a chill in the air this morning.  As I drove up George's Gap a sheaf of leaves fell from the trees onto my windshield like a book whose spine had suddenly opened, loosened and dropped its pages out in one big block.  What story might this book have to tell?  A story about the rains that fell throughout the summer?  About the small furred creatures that walked and ran through the branches? About the man and woman who lay in the shadow under the tree one July afternoon?

The book could describe the moon's passage through the night sky.  The book would describe stars. A biography, the book would detail the budding of small sticky leaves and how they opened so tenderly into chartreuse.  How they bent, this way and that, through the lightening-filled storms of spring.  And how they loved the summer sun and singing birds.

A book of leaves filled with snatches of song: the slap, ting and sting of rain.  The buzz of mosquito, of bee.  A long cello wind  returning home late in the night.  The sharp rising whine of a dog and roar of the occasional passing car. It would seem that we are all there, all duly noted.  All recorded in the meticulous hieroglyph of leaf.