Scarlet Leaflet

31 Jan

Red, red leaves: my eyes find little in life more pleasing. Scarlet leaflets supersede all floral & all fauna, all greenery & all shrubbery, & all synthetic roses that stand for love or hope or gratitude or mourning or whatever the hue brands as ideological eternity into the flimsy plastic veins.

Went on a walk this morning. Brisk air bestows bounce back between shoe, step, cement, step, foot, step, asphalt, step, my mood is a mellow cool. Caught a glimpse of the beauty in the intricate flaw. She hunched over her shopping cart, stalled and searching inside a trash can on the uneven pavement adjacent to a sleeping house and steaming black, plastic trash bags. Bare hands and broken nails felt through goo and gunk and stench for objects of value, the high find pegging hopes upon a 5 cent california redemption for backwash in a soiled soda bottle. Humming a jazz riff to herself, she was alone but certainly not lonely: a pagent of bizarre festivities bore the joy and excitement forth beyond her eyes, brimming light, emanating joy, praise today!

On the way home from the corner liquor store, I pack my Camel Turkish Golds against my pulsating wrist, everything beating to the rhythm of my heart, a tempo tamed and tempered by music. Spinal tapping feet, leaves blowing like hands, underbelly reveal vulnerable veins, greeting waving back and forth, and I spot scarlet leaflets on a tree within arm reach. I snap a twig and continue on my way. Smile curls lips towards ears: how wondrous and magnificent, this scarlet leaf. Influenced in gratitude of the glorious vision, microscopic in the relative scheme of all that is and isn’t, I call to the lady about five paces ahead of me. “Is this red leaf not the loveliest start to spring? It makes me happy, I just felt like sharing.” She tilts her head to the left and scrunches her nose up under smiling eyes. “There ya go girl! It sure is. Hey, y’know what? Plant that in a pot and maybe you can get yo’self a right red leaf tree from that twig!” Logic like jack in the beanstalk. Magic is her reality, or perhaps skepticism and conservatism is mine. I want to share in the delight of her reality. I respond: ” I will! Maybe it will blossom into a full grown tree before finals time, how nice! Thanks for the tip.”

“Sure thing, baby. Keep on!”

Human interaction is ripe with magic.


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