Autumn Leaves

bright-yellow-clipart-10Ready or not, on my porch, I’m beginning to see them fall around me. Some slowly, others faster, sometimes alone and others surrounding themselves. The ground holds them as their numbers increase each day.

I considered glue and buying a very, very tall ladder but smiled at its futility. Scotch tape? Same response. It’s happening and has been happening all my life but this time in my life it seems to kinda hurt to see those guys and gals falling from their beautiful branches that made summer so green. Now their green turns to amber, and then finally becoming a rich gold that says to all, “Another season is ending with a new season beginning.”
Like creating an angle in the snow in my image, I also thought of making them my own before they finally disappear. I could spell my name upon each of those “goldens.” It’s only three letters. Shouldn’t take that long. But then I thought, “Why would I use my name when they are the ones passing from one season to another?” I should piece their names together (cue the scotch tape), one leaf at a time until it identified someone loved and missed, gone but not forgotten. Sounds kinda like “family,” “church?”

Across from my family home was a vacant lot where my sixth-grade girlfriend and I would create a home out of those “goldens” in the late fall. Flatly placed on the ground but clearly 3-D in our minds. A created kitchen where good food was served along with laughter and arguments. Our living room was the smallest because every good conversation occurred in the kitchen, our largest room. Our leaf-created hallway led to each bedroom where our small green-leafed children slept and woke up to this beautiful fall day. We enjoyed our homemaking adventure until the wind blew it away for winter’s snow.

Spring is about potential and newness and summer is all about risk and adventure. Autumn is soley about reflection. Autumn is purely about preserving memories in minds and hearts that have lived all four seasons.

I don’t know enough people to link all those fallen leaves. Instantly, I can remember those close to me. Or, famous names I remember from the newspaper or unnamed leafs that have left someone, somewhere, behind. The few loved names closest to me are the ones I’m saving for last. I hope to collect as many of them that I can remember and place them in my real kitchen and watch the richness of what their lives meant to me return to the dust from which they came.

There’s a sadness in autumn’s leaves but also a rich gold feeling for the green turning amber and then shared for how many years.

Well, after typing on my porch, it’s back to my remembering how enriching life can be for me right now. And how enriching life my life has been because of those leaves I watch fall to the ground. They have colored my life gold with their lives, and I continue to golden their lives through my remembering and honoring.

I think that’s why they’re called “leaves.”


About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
This entry was posted in Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.