Something intangible shifts in the world around me on this bright November afternoon. Suddenly, I realize that the wind carries the leaves along the pavement with a strange, purposeful intensity, and they rustle as they brush against dry concrete.
It’s as if someone invisible, far away, sighs deeply and steers the leaves with his breath.
The sky transforms from clear blue to steel-colored, uncertain. Temperature changes along with the sky color, and the air feels much cooler against my skin. The leaves’ hurried dance becomes more insistent, as if they have someplace important to be, someplace they can’t be late to and so there they run, sometimes disintegrating in the wind, just thin strips easily transforming into non-existence.
The pace of the world itself seems to have shifted abruptly.
I am standing in the middle of this fall universe as it dances faster and faster, stirred by the wind. I keep looking up at the sky, waiting for signs of rain. No rain comes. Yet it is getting surprisingly dark for what used to be, minutes ago, a bright fall afternoon.
A big brown leaf is thrown into my face and I flinch, startled and even a little scared for no reason. I grab the offending leaf and examine it; it does not look particularly lovely and it falls apart further under the lightest touch of my fingers, moving further away from its original perfect shape.
Maybe the flying leaves are simply running away from this transfiguration. Only no one can outrun the fall.
Something intangible shifted in the world. Or maybe the fall was around me all along, and I simply started paying attention.