In taking a walk a few days ago, I stepped in a scattering of leaves. Trees haven't begun to drop their leaves in earnest yet, so this was a surprise. The crackle of leaves beneath my feet jolted me out of my thoughts so that I took a look around.
I tend to get lost in my thoughts as I walk, mulling over story ideas, recalcitrant characaters, and plotting problems. Passing drivers have probably seen me talking to myself. In reality, I am probably arguing with a character who refuses to behave as he should. (I'm hoping this is a common occurrence with other writers and that I am not the only one who remonstrates with fictional people.)
As I said, I had failed to take notice of the beauty of my surroundings until the snap of dry leaves registered. The Rocky Mountains loomed in the distance, hulking and magestic at the same time. Cotton puff clouds scudded across a bluer-than-blue sky. A neighborhood park, tucked between an elementary school and a church, provided an expanse of verdant green.
I would have missed this slice of a perfect Colorado morning if not for the crackling protest of leaves as I walked and talked.
So, for today, I am grateful for fallen leaves.