A single, orange leaf, untethered from the mother tree, drops into the wide green swath of manicured lawn. It's landed on it's edge, and the morning sunlight ignites the leaf.
Here's the thing, there's not another leaf in this city yard that comes close to its shape, or it's point of progress through the growth and death cycle, nor is there any living thing that matches the same robust, flame-throwing orange. This leaf has a spikey appearance, the others are rounded and serrated.
What we have here is a pilgrim, a wandering traveler, an untamed believer in the next best thing, no matter where it is. For whatever reason, it didn't stay put.
A lot of us wander towards the end of our lives, a restlessness or an urgency to explore sets in. Work and children rendered us capable of stability and safety. Now those monumental tasks have loosened their harnesses, giving us some measure of freedom to stop if we think best, to go if we desire, or to plan a stay in somebody's back yard, if that's as far as we get.
The little leaf is at the end of its cycle, the next hard rain, coming in a day or two, will take it out. It's edges are curling as I write these words.
Best to get going while the going is good.