The majestic trees stand silent as their burnt leaves free-fall to the ground.
The short season to live and die is upon us.
There is no wind to make the journey playful, less somber.
The leaves will be stomped on, trampled or simply shriveled into paper-thin nothingness.
Some say autumn is their very favorite time of year.
Yes, some truly enjoy the fall and her misty rains, carved pumpkins, and bumpy hayrides.
Oh dear, not me, not really.
Fast forward through winter, and then spring, please.
Okay, perhaps I like fall a little.
I enjoy the vivid colors, and the brisk breeze.
I do not appreciate the cloud cover, morose grey day, or the torrents of rain.
I do not enjoy them, no not at all.
I am never ready to say goodbye to the blazon summer, and scorching, yellow sun.
I am ill prepared, forever thrust into the dark without her light.
I walk, head bowed down, deep in thought gazing at the bleak, gravel underfoot.
I step smack in the middle of a mess, a huge pile of dog shit.
My foot crunches like mushy popcorn, and I am unsteady in these woods.
I stop, and sigh.
I stop and gaze underfoot, rolling my eyes and plugging my nose.
I stop in my tracks for the briefest moment, bracing myself against a towering, leaning maple, feeling her grooves, chipped bark, all her hidden secrets buried inside the nooks and crannies.
Is she the same tree I walked past days before without a nod of recognition?
Probably, most assuredly I did not think about it.
The greed obsessed world spiraling all around me.
I can be selfish like that.
I don’t care about the minute details or the moment.
I don’t care about my last second’s breath.
I don’t see death as sad or lonely, but pure stardust release.
One more exhausting, human emotion buried under a pile of leaves.
Burn me with the brush and indifference; scatter my ashes to the wind under the prettiest summer’s eve and her blazing, pink sun.
A red, hot sun drying and scorching the tears of those I once loved.
Perhaps I’ll be less than a leaf, the shadow person reminder.
Maybe no one will remember me at all.
I’m not dead yet, although sometimes I wonder why have I existed?
Was there an order to my chaos?
Is there a secret message hidden on the wind that betrays me, gone stagnant with fall?
I hug the tree, hoping the shadow people are dancing beside me.
It is not breezy at all, and a few, faded green leaves on the barren twigs brush against my knees swinging to and fro, waving, smiling and doing a jive taunting me.
I wonder which ghost has stood in this precise spot too many years to count before me, contemplating a life.
Did they live in constant crisis or peril, or were they filled with love and joy, gratitude their preferred human emotion?
And so the cruel courtship remains; life and death in between the inhale and the exhale.
Were the shadow people blinded by anger, hate, fear, and ignorant blissful self- righteousness?
Or maybe they were kind, living a life filled with purpose?
I can’t help but be curious wrapping my arms tighter around the tree as night falls too fast and my body quivers.
Snowflakes remind me that autumn has passed one more time around the sun.
I shift ever so slightly, smiling down at my feet.
Dog shit stinks the same in every season.
Time to move forward, as I fall into winter white.
The ghosts dance twirling and rejoicing the autumn foliage, whispering forgotten names.