it is here, but we do not see it

For the past few days, I’ve woken early — well before the rest of the family has. It is nearly silent, aside from the heavy sounds of sleep. From where we lie, we face a window that also faces westward to the backyard and the woods beyond. When I sit up and move to the foot of the bed where Suka sleeps, I can gaze out.

Today, as I looked out, John stirred behind me. I thought to myself, if he asks what I’m doing I will say “I’m looking out the window but I do not see.”

Without my glasses, I see very little. When I was younger, this meant I couldn’t see far distances. But today, this also means I can’t even see small print (unless I remove my glasses).

When I look out the window without glasses, the slim Elm trees among the Cottonwood and Ash trees look like pillars standing without a roof to support — aside from the canopy of leaves. As if the moon has been stretched and planted, now brightly reflecting the morning sun.


Flickr: Dinesh Valke, “Entire-leaved Elm tree,” 2011

With glasses, a different view presents itself. Hardly any leaves remain.  They flutter in the wind — the crisp northern breeze. Very little holds them to these branches.

I wonder. Do they mean to break away? They float, then coast and land far below. Looking up, they can scarcely see the branches so high above them now, nor the other leaves who still remain. Over time the strain is too much to bear. They begin to look out, ground level, rather than up. The trees’ branches are nothing more than myth. “Perhaps it was all a dream,” they convince themselves.

While above, the leaves still clinging to the branches desperately look down, but cannot see their fallen comrades.

“Do they remember us?” They ask. “Legends,” they say of those leaves below. Legendary.

And like all great legends, those fallen leaves, too, become myths.

Neither the fallen nor the remaining leaves realize they are part of the same, simple story.

They are all mythical

[But John didn’t wake. And I decided to sleep just a bit longer.]


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