There are some sugar maples not far from my kids' school that are changing. They're changing form and color and they are changing the little community in which we live.
I see our friends post on instagram how grateful they are to have these giving trees in which their kids can play in the leafpiles. They share snapshots of the trees, their tops starting to shed, suddenly looking immodest as if Autumn were the worst kind of closet-raider.
The sugar maple tree in itself has a lovely shape. Strong but elegant, the kind you want to capture in a silhouette and put on a wedding invitation.
I have a colleague who knows plantlife and he was the one told me the trees were the sugar maples. I am not very good with botany or ID-ing arbors. I am not typically observant of details--I am more intuitive, feeling the changing of seasons in my bones first and then with my eyes. But it seems that everyone has been noticing these gorgeous sugar maples in front of the school. Men, women, children, the trees are the talk of the town.
I took my lunch break to capture these images. I've worked at places where taking a lunch anywhere other than in your cubicle was practically an act of civil disobedience. And if stomping around on school grounds to admire some sugar maples is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
I'm not about to go all The Lorax on you or make reference to #leafporn. I just want to share how this feels. I cannot remember the last time a community (e.g. a neighborhood, a school, a workplace, a family) was abuzz about something marvelous. Usually the trending topic, the Facebook feed is rife with scandal, controversy, shocking statistics. It's rare for our eyes to be collectively pointed to beauty.
I just want to be swept up in the autumnal adoration, especially because I can't remember the last time we were all rallying around the glory of leaves.
I can't remember the last time the word on the street was, "Wow.