Today was a blustery day, and the mix of clouds, sunshine and leaf blizzard this afternoon would have made for some interesting pictures. Unfortunately I spent most of that time at a meeting in a room with no windows. Hopefully we were working towards light of a different sort, but that's another story.
Instead, I offer two word pictures and a couple photos from this past month.
When I drove uptown for the meeting, the wind was blowing strongly and there were leaves waltzing everywhere. As I turned east on to Clinton, leaves from the courthouse trees swirled from ground level nearly to the top of the brick buildings across the street -- where a flock of pigeons continued the swirl, the underside of their wings flashing white in the afternoon sun.
Back here, John reported that there were so many yellow maple leaves from campus trees being blown down the driveway across the street that it looked like a golden river.
Here's a few leaves that weren't quite so active, from the archives I've created in the past month or so. I keep being entranced by light seen through leaves.
And the leaves in the last photo, below, were a little too active. I cropped the picture and then, in an inattentive moment, deleted it instead of saving it. There the leaves were, still on my screen, but the underlying data was gone.
I'd pull out some words of wisdom about the need to be present in the moment and to pay attention, which is undoubtedly true, but on the other hand, it seems rather fitting that a quickly taken photo of an ad hoc still life, long since blown away, has now also mostly vanished.
Most of life is as fleeting as that. If we tried to retain it all, whether as computer files or memories, we'd be so weighed down we couldn't move. Better to let the wind blow where it will, and the leaves to swirl and dance and flow like a river. And if we record a few images along the way, why, that's a bonus.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.