“And they’re off! The yellow one is in the lead; it rounds the bend. The orange one is lagging behind; still lagging, lagging. Oh, but look at that…the yellow one is caught in a current and moving towards the bank. The orange one is catching up. It looks like it’s going to pass–it does! Orange is in the lead!”
And then the leaves floated down the creek, out of sight. “Do it again, daddy. Let’s do it again.” This was one of the first moments of our morning walk when there were giggles rather than moans about tired legs. My husband hunched over the bridge’s hand rail, playing the Indy 500 announcer; the kids dropped their carefully-selected leaves into the meandering creek again, and again. The racing leaves distracted all of us for a period of time, and gave us a chance to enjoy our remarkable surroundings…the remarkable day.
The temperature today reached 72 degrees. It was a calling to take in the changing colors, breath the moist air. We chose to walk the 1.5 mile trail at Watershed Park and tried to convince the kids that this was a better choice than a trip to a playground or the farmers market. They didn’t quite agree and we heard their opinions.
But, after the racing leaves incident, they were rejuvenated. They were in-tune. It was like they finally noticed the natural play area that surrounded us, and of course all the leaves. My daughter held my hand and pulled rather than dragged. She picked up bundles of leaves, then scattered them one-by-one on the trail again. She ran up hills without a sigh. And before we knew it, we popped out of the watershed and were headed home.