Evening last, that girl and I watched four-month-old Mackenna for several hours. Near sunset, I stood at a window holding Mackenna so we could witness the sky blushing some final colors across the Cuyahoga Valley. As we stood there, a pink leaf fell from a dark maple tree immediately before us. The leaf descended slowly, twirling a little, and drifting near the window. Mackenna watched the pink leaf slowly sink and settle on the green grass.
We are early in this—the first autumn of Mackenna’s life. The trees are not yet awash with colors. Only a random tree or a random leaf here or there has flushed. Few leaves have detached and fallen to the grass.
“There you go, Mackenna,” I lilted. “You have just seen your first falling leaf.”
Mackenna cooed softly and brought her right hand to her mouth.
I know this is nothing Mackenna will remember. The whole of this year and the whole next will be lost to a much later blur of childhood. Even that will become a patchwork of discontinuous remembrances.
But we had our moment there at the window. Me and Mackenna. I was there for her first falling leaf.
The leaf was pink, extraordinary.