The leaf dropped out of the sky as we were walking through the green woods. It floated lazily about in the air, carried by the air currents, while steadily making its way down to the floor of the forest. It drifted past my eyes. It was a red leaf, completely out of place in the green woods. I am not sure if this fact even registered in my mind at that moment.
The presence of the dry leaves in the middle of the normally ultra-green summer is not a real surprise. I have seen such leaves in the past. In spite of the humidity in the air, some trees are beginning to lose their leaves. The heat, and the lack of water in the ground, take their toll. If you saw the cherry tree in our backyard at this time, you might even suspect that it was sick.
Instinctively, I reached out for the leaf that was floating past me. It was a whimsical thing that I was doing, without thinking. It was an act of the subconsciousness. I was surprised to find that I had actually made contact with the leaf.
And the leaf had actually also landed in my hand! Some may say that it was meant to be. I was astonished by how red the leaf appeared – redder than I am used to seeing in summer. It was a unique sample. For some reason or the other, I did not feel like letting go of the leaf. It began to occupy my thoughts as we kept walking. The red leaf in the hand actually led to some contemplation. Was it going to come home with me as a reminder of sorts of some obscure encounter with nature – an encounter that was somehow profound in my mind in that moment?
Towards the end of the walk, we decided to take a detour on to a narrow path that led to the river. It seemed a little ridiculous for me to be carrying the leaf over the detour. I was going to be coming back that way. I left the leaf on a bush at the entrance to the detour thinking that I would pick it up on the way back.
That was the last I saw of the leaf. That was the last time I thought about the leaf – until I looked at the pictures I had taken that day on the computer at home late in the evening. I had forgotten the red leaf by then. The red leaf was no longer significant. All that remains in a picture in a blog.