Done. I sit down on a nearby stump while I wait for the fire to take hold.
It’s not much to look at, this pile of autumn leaves raked tall. Most would call it underwhelming. Others would walk right by oblivious to its significance.
I know exactly what it is.
It is a perfect representation of us. Some leaves are withered, some are still crisp, the accumulated scraps of a season past somehow supporting itself, standing tall. Three feet of bright golds and dirty browns: A spectrum that covers our decline.
Small serpents of white smoke rise, the unmistakable smell of burning leaves hits. The scent consigns my mind back to a hundred places past, all of which contain you.
I stand up as small pieces of lighted leaf escape toward the sky. They burn out then fall, exhausted. I know how they feel.