Saturday, November 17, 2007

Drunken Leaves

"Little drunken maple leaves," I thought, seeing them lying on their faces on the pavement. It rained earlier, leaving wet asphalt beneath balding red and gold maple trees. Overpowered by a breeze, more leaves lost their tentative hold as I watched. They free-fell and landed, evenly spaced, on their faces. Each stem pointed skyward, moving slowly like little arms and legs. I remembered a long-ago story by a military friend who was on leave after boot camp, about a Drill Sgt. who made the recruits lie on their backs with their arms and legs reaching for the sky. "Dying Cockroach," he called it. They couldn't put their arms and legs down until the DI said they could. My friend said it was excruciating, but he "made it" when most of the guys didn't. A couple of years later, he broke his back in a motorcycle accident and the doctors said he would never walk again. He did. He "made it" when another person might have listened to the doctors and given up.

I don't know why that memory came up from the depths while I looked at the leaves. I don't know why it seems like it was just yesterday, when I can't even remember what I had for breakfast today. Being a Boomer is sometimes very weird.

1 comment:

Mina said...

Beautiful story...and a good life lesson we should all keep close to our hearts. On a lighter note, nothing, absolutely nothing, can kill a cockroach! Has anyone successfully killed a cockroach? Please let me know. :)