As I walk the last of our dinner guests out to his car and wave goodbye, my attention is stolen by my giant stirring neighbors. It’s both unseasonably warm and unseasonably windy on this mid-October eve. The Oaks and Maples are passing not-so-hushed messages to one another in the melancholy moonlight. There seems to be a story in the wind. Apparently everyone knows it but me. Even the wind chime at 317 knows—there’s no denying that wistful airy tune. Instead of going back in the house, I decide to indulge my curiosity and eavesdrop a bit with an innocent walk around the block.
I overhear dozens of conversations, but they’re all talking over each other. Blustering. Gesturing. Their looks are as muddled as their words. Like a hairdresser who’s ready for bed, all the bold colors these girls flashed during the day are gone. The reds and golds, and even the greens and browns are completely imperceptible at this time of night. Their entire mass ripples and vacillates between nearly identical shades of gray and silver.
Every one of them is in an uproar. Stress will age you prematurely. The proof is right here in front of me. Thousands of green leaves that had no business falling for another week or two pepper every yard and car in our neighborhood.
The fuss continues, but as I round the corner toward home, I’m no more informed than I was when I began. My stroll isn’t entirely fruitless however. I’ve discovered something even more valuable than their secret. Inspiration. And that’s definitely worth the walk.