We had the big freeze last night, finally. It swept in at sundown, on the coat tails of a the north wind, and apparently stayed the night. I made some hot spearmint tea, lit some candles and curled up with a good book. Later, when I ventured out for some fresh air, I was greeted by the sound of dripping rain, or so I thought at first. However, the sky was clear, the air brittle with cold.
The sound I was hearing was actually leaves, falling in a steady patter from the Mulberry tree. I used to own a little wooden box with chimes inside, and when you turned the box over, tiny metal beads fell in a random pattern onto the chimes and made a delicate, pinging music. This sound of the last leaves of the old year falling was such a sound. And, as if the music was not enough, there was the sight of them, stepping free and turning on the breeze, fluttering down to become part of a gorgeous yellow and green carpet.
I watched in silence, drinking it in, loving the elegance of the dance I so easily could have missed. Overhead there came the honking of geese.