Nature’s greeting card includes two pieces of sycamore bark, several arrays of three maple leaves, one heron, a grove of medical society trees with blood-red leaves and loot of bronze, copper, yellow and orange cherry leaves overflowing from autumn’s treasure chest. There is a spot on the path where detached wet yellow maple leaves reflect the sunlight like a hundred dazzling pocket mirrors thrown down, blinding unprotected eyes. The creek is sudsy. It buoys and swallows leaves. By the time they reach the dam, they are in its pull. In the roiling water, craning down, they look as if they are flying free and drowning simultaneously.
Several people and I exchanged greetings on the trail and one person gave me, not a card, but a morbid newspaper clipping folded inside a plastic sandwich bag, for which I am extremely grateful. I can add it to the Kevorkian collection. The walk could not have been sweeter if someone had left a card tucked under the windshield wiper saying, Happy Birthday.