Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Do you think someone specifically arranged these leaves into a soggy bouquet?

Though I prefer to have a walk built in to my routine, the truth is, I no longer have any such thing. OK. I must make time and space to do the healing work of wandering aimlessly, outside, every day.

And so I did yesterday afternoon, just before dark. I walked, stopped, stared at the sky, noted the progression of the season, sipped the air and marveled at the beauty of the city where I live.

Fall lasts a long time in Washington DC. Though many of the sugar maples and American elms on Capitol Hill have ditched their leaves, the oaks are only now beginning to toss their heavy foliage. When the oaks start shedding, look out! You could be buried in an avalanche of oak leaves, you could! The ginkoes are just coming into their prime goldness. In a week or so the streets will be littered with little yellow fan-shaped leaves. And so on. The important thing is: I took the time to notice. Oh yeah.

I'm very glad I didn't completely miss fall, all caught up in my thoughts, worries and reminiscence as I have been recently. From now until Thanksgiving, when the last of the leaves fall, I'm going to pay attention. Be here now, Reya, be here now!

by Carl Sandburg

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.

(Poem shamelessly lifted from Steven's blog, The Golden Fish. Thanks, Steven!!)


ellen abbott said...

Oh I love these pictures. You are so right...be here now.

The Bug said...

I've been trying to really notice the world around my on my commute to & from work. But I agree that looking out from a box isn't the same thing as being out IN the world. I need to figure out how to build a walk into my day...

Deborah said...


that last photo
the poem
the thoughtful prose
extraordinary beauty
brought to me by you
and gratefully received
my darling Reya

lacochran said...

"Do you think someone specifically arranged these leaves into a soggy bouquet?"

I do. I even think it was you. :)

NanU said...

The fall changes so fast, you've got to go out every single day or you'll miss something.

Steve said...

Wow, look at all those leaves! DC is such a leafy city!

When I was in DC a couple of years ago we walked at Thanksgiving and there was still quite a bit of color -- remember? Fall DOES last a long time there. (Then again, maybe that was just a late fall.)

willow said...

I started to read the Sandburg and thought, "Oh, MAN, what synchronicity here!" ...and then I saw that you lifted it from Steven. ;^) And I'm glad, cause I wanted to read it again.

Reya Mellicker said...

Willow I try to give credit if I have boldly stolen material from another blog. Steven really hit it today, didn't he? I posted the poem on FB too.

Laura, I didn't arrange them. One of The Rules According to Reya is that I can't re-arrange anything. All the leaves stuck to the car doors, etc. all of everything I photograph is unmanipulated by me. It's a rule! A RULE!! Remember I am a serious "J" according to Meyers-Briggs. I play by the rules, oh yeah!!

Reya Mellicker said...

Yeah Steve - DC is a forest, extremely leafy in summer. And yes I too was remembering last year and the ginko leaves, just falling. Both spring and fall are in slow motion in the midatlantic. I love that!

normana53 said...

I don't know about D.C., but the fall colors seem to be much more brilliant and bold in Seattle this fall. Your shots are spectacular (as always!).

I am happy that you are noticing fall, and taking time to sip the air and take in the beauty of the season.

lakeviewer said...

Thanks, Reya. Thanks, Steven. Thanks Mother Nature. Thanks Nikon Camera, ( or whatever camera was used for these pictures).


Ronda Laveen said...

Just about a near perfect post today. Perfectly entrained photos, prose and poetry. A piece of fall joy. That bottom photo is amazing. The leaves look like confetti candies.

Lynne said...

Our colors here never really did much. They started to turn (some) and then they were done. Now the branches are nearly bare. We had a lot of strange weather with rain, wind, some true cold. Since we've lived here this has been the quickest fall season yet. The leaves just fell. I think that means the winter is supposed to be a hard one. We shall see. I'm bummed since this is my favorite season!

steven said...

reya - so beautiful!!!! the clustered colours in the intimate and big gatherings you've shared here . . . the intimacy of "lifting" sandburg's words - well we (many of us) share a space in the blogosphere and i have always committed to the belief that what i post is there for all. my pics, my words, my picked out words, my worded out pics!!!! you used them with care!! enjoy a sweet autumn evening in dc. reya!!! steven

Barry said...

I love the leaf strewn pathway. Just beautiful.

A prolonged Fall is a gift, a generous gift.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven, it IS intimate to lift from another blogger, even blatantly. It means I trust that this would not be offensive to you, and in fact, I was right. How amazing to learn such deep truths about each other, even though we've never met. A marvel!

Barry, when I took the second pic, I was thinking "Now THIS is a red carpet"" The "red carpet" is the gauntlet that celebrities walk before big Hollywood and NYC events. They are dolled up, the paparazzi are there ... though there was no one around to photograph those of us walking down that sidewalk, nevertheless, we were all on the red carpet. Oh yeah.

Sandra Leigh said...

The strangest thing happened. I thought - and then I read Deborah's comment - She had written just what I was thinking.


Sia said...

Very special - thank you so much for sharing this.

Elizabeth said...

Wet leaves

yes yes
what joy the season brings us
and the poems too

almost all your photos are outdoors

Bee said...

Stunning carpet of leaves. That poem is just so apt for fall; I know that flowers come and go just as quickly, but leaves are just that bit more sad (in a beautiful way) for me.

Reya Mellicker said...

YES Bee, sadder. It changes the whole landscape here in this leafy city. The skies open when the canopy comes down. It's a big deal!