By By K. Parrack
At the end of the day before the sun goes down, we go and listen to the leaves.
Just Luka and me.
The wind pushes against us, ruffling our hair. Wind chimes swing wildly. We walk faster past garages, windows and doorways.
Leaves rattle sideways tripping over our toes. A robin clings to the top of a swaying branch.
We stop under a tree. This is the perfect spot. I whisper to Luka, “If you are patient and very, very still, so still you are hardly breathing, you can hear the leaves sing.”
We wait and we listen, trying hard not to breathe.
In-between the bird song and gentle insect scuttles, the leaves take up a rustle and pass it on. One by one, cluster by cluster, branch by branch, until a soft song ripples through the tree.
The wind swirls whisking leaves to whirling delight. Leaf song echoes the galloping wind, soaring into the sky. Rising, roaring a crescendo of harmony. Fading to a murmur, a gasp. Silence.
A few weary leaves twist, sigh, and spin to the ground. Luka and I catch them as they fall, russet, golden and crunchy.
We chase them. This way, that way. We fall over each other, laughing. Then throw the leaves- Up! Up! Up! Until we are covered in autumn.
A scruffy cat slinks from under a bridge, stops, stares, then mooches on by.
The light is fading. Time to go.
We jiggle as we walk. Back past the dented garage door. Past the soggy tennis ball abandoned on a sunnier day. Up the steps, through the leaves, to our front door.
Luka and I stop to watch the sun go down. The wind has died. A faint aroma of wood smoke hangs in the air.
I squeeze Luka’s hand. He squeezes back.
Tomorrow we will listen to the leaves again.
Just Luka and me.
Keely Parrack wrote this story after many magical walks with her little boy Luka. British in origin, Keely taught Elementary School in inner city Nottingham UK before moving to the San Francisco bay area, where she directed a childrens’ day care center. Keely currently lives in California with her husband and Luka, who still provides much of the inspiration for her writing.