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Waning Autumn [Dec. 3rd, 2002|08:00 pm]
The big, rubbery leaves of the mulberry tree, now mostly yellow, are piling up on the front lawn. I'm reluctant to rake them, because they look so nice when the low afternoon sun shines across them. I suppose I'll have to get rid of them tomorrow, or the lawn will begin to turn brown under them from lack of sunlight. But I'm not picking up those which have blown onto the dirt under the wild plum bushes. Those, I'll leave to decay through the winter. As they slowly dry, I'll be able to hear the raccoons rustle about among them in the night.

It is interesting that the oaks here, though all of the same variety, behave diversely when it comes to losing their leaves. They turn color at different times, and some drop most of their leaves while they are still golden. A few hold onto much of their foliage, as it turns almost brown, like old newspaper. One particular oak, up the street from my house, retains a considerable amount of these brown leaves even now. One night soon, a good wind will probably send them showering down. As dry as they are now, they will probably crumble to dust under a footstep, or the pressure of a rake.

Most likely it is age which has made it seem to me that this season has passed so quickly. Each autumn is a smaller percentage of my life than the one before. A person's tenth autumn is two and a half percent of their entire life thus far. A centenarian would experience the same season as only a quarter of one percent of their life. Subjectively, we experience an acceleration of time as we age. If oaks have some consciousness, I think I know why some of them cling to their leaves as long as possible.