Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Autumn Leaves

I am sorry that song was already written, because there is truly nothing lovelier, more inspirational or soothing to the spirit than the colors of autumn.  I walked through parts of Central Park yesterday, just eating it with my eyes, wondering if there was any way to describe the tones, more glorious as they faded than at their most brilliant.
  A little girl in pink, not that wondrous a shade, even when worn in a hooded jacket by a three-year old, from Norway she was, where it is probably already well into winter weather, collected a pile of them and set them on a park bench.  I would have liked to congratulate her on her sense of organization
but of course do not know the tongue.  But she was dear, as most children are-- my friend the mystery writer Bill McGivern used to regret that he could not invent something called 'STAY BABY,' because it was never going to be that wonderful again.  How well he knew.
   But the same cannot be said about the leaves changing.  Green is only green, except in Ireland, where it comes in as many shades as the people.  But oh, the hues of Autumn. How sad it would be to be blind on a day like yesterday in Central Park, where even the ducks on the pond appeared to be taking notice. In-between bobbling and gliding across the mirrored surface, speckled slightly with the soggy leaves that hadn't landed on shore, they seemed curiously attentive to the quiet spectacle around them, respectful of the beauty.
    I am in a constant struggle to gentle my spirit, nowhere more than in New York, with its electric air of Expectations, from which almost inevitably come Disappointments. But if my soul could carry with it the colors of Central Park on the day that was yesterday, I think I would be serene.
   Ah, but there are stairs at the end of the walk that lead back up to the street, and the crosswalk where pedestrians supposedly have the right of way, but the cars might run you down just the same, because the drivers are not particularly paying attention.  Oh, if only we all could be living in the park, or at least be walking through it in our minds.  Or gliding across the pond with our sensibilities.
   But I do have a bowl now filled with the leaves I collected.  And maybe if I study it long enough and often enough I will understand.
   Everything fades.  And maybe that is a part of the Beauty.