This is my favorite story that I’ve written so far. It’s short(800words) and I hope you enjoy. I originally published it on Steemit, and had help with proofreading by @me422u.
To Catch A Leaf
Teru sat quietly, legs crossed. She let the gentle wind roll by, not that she could stop it, but she enjoyed it. It flowed around her, in a way only wind and water can. It enveloped the hilltop in a warm caress. She breathed deeply, slowly, a settling kind that seemed to draw her into the hillside. She felt like a piece of the land.
The summer had been a good one. Fruitful. Robust. She had run beside ocean and river, laughed through rainstorms, worked and felt the drips of honest sweat. It was passing, fading toward the approaching autumn. Freshness grew in the early mornings. In the late evenings, bated breaths could be seen. There was a change in the air; everyone would soon feel the growing reach of it. Last night had been the coolest yet. She had spent the last few years waiting for the change in season, on this very hill.
But for now, it was still summer and the days were warm, hot even.
She opened her eyes. The sun had risen passed midday, the rush of sudden full daylight nearly forced her to shut them immediately. She didn’t. The fringes of the massive tree above her were tinged yellow, some hinted at an orange, leaves that knew their fall approached. Teru looked it over gratefully. This tree had stood sentinel above her village for as long as her mother’s mother knew, and she enjoyed the shade it shared with her now. Some trees knew the end of the season better than others, and this one had always proven to be a wise one.
So, when she saw the yellows of harvesting season trickle into the leaves of the village tree, Teru began her watch. Few others in the village believed it, and fewer practiced, most just mocked her. She knew though. Last year, she had finally done it and she knew it was true. Sometimes she wondered if others knew, maybe they were embarrassed and didn’t want to share, people were bashful about some odd things. Maybe they had shared too many times, and through…
Something caught her eye, the barest wave. She stilled her thoughts. A rise in the wind. Yellow flickered above her, it seemed to bristle. Then, in a moment, it was there. It was time. Like a drip of water that resisted its fall for too long, a leaf seemed to pluck itself from a high-reaching branch. The wind caught it and she watched closely. It drifted one way, then, abruptly another. It wafted back and forth, fluttering and spinning, flipping and falling.
Teru’s gaze never left the leaf. It fell closer, bouncing between and off the more clingy leaves. The breeze was soft and gentle; it carried the leaf toward the ground, nearer to Teru. It had to be done just right. She waited, her legs twitched, still crossed. The leaf was only feet from the ground; it fluttered, waving at her.
‘Now.’ The thought ran through her the way a single chord would.
Like a whip, she sprung up. Soft pants rippled against a sudden rush of air. She moved with startling speed. Her hair flew, tied off just behind her head, and left to flow otherwise. It had to be one motion. Her feet were beneath her in a flash, catching her jump, continuing it. She reached out, stretching; one arm thrown back for balance, the other followed her eyes. Her fingers strained, she was there, between her fingertips, in the motion. She was the motion.
The leaf stopped, suddenly, its fall paused, shared. Teru’s movement froze, she was still, leaf caught between her thumb and forefinger. It washed over her. She breathed in sharply, quickly, before…
The leaf’s experience spread through her. Teru no longer saw from her eyes; she no longer felt her sun, or wind, or feet, or hands. For a moment, she was the life of the leaf, its’ summer, the spring it spent growing, catching sun and wind and water. She felt the warmth of the hot days, the freshness of morning dewdrops; she felt the excitement of its first days bursting from bud and branch. For a breath, just a moment, Teru knew the journey of the leaf. Condensed, a summer of life, distilled into a brief vision—one she now shared with the village tree.
A smile spread, the vision faded. In a way, the fading of their experience was somehow sad; in another, —she rejoiced. It had fallen, and she had been there, ready to share its message of life. She smiled. This leaf had known a beautiful summer.
Teru sat down gently. She breathed the warm air; it felt full. She breathed out and watched the spreading autumn—ready to catch a leaf.
**Proofread in collaboration with: @MaresPW for @me422us
Words Are Powerful