You don’t see people burning leaves much anymore. Most towns don’t permit it. Coming home from the range today, out on a county road, there was a big leaf pile and a man watching them burn. I was driving with the windows down and as I passed through the cloud it took me back 40 years.

The leaves would turn and then fall. Raking them into piles, playing in them, running and jumping into them, that was the kids job. Once the weather turned cold, and the leaves were dry and brown, the dads would rake them into the ditch along the road and burn them. On a dry weekend day in late October or early November, the smell of burning leaves was everywhere.

The fall of a leaf is a whisper to the living.
–Russian Proverb


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