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There I was, on Wednesday, trying to hold tight to each hour of my last 12 days of summer vacation, even as they slipped through my fingers anyway. How I have enjoyed having no set schedule, sitting on the porch to read, and swat at flies, taking walks to admire the lovely views of the mountains, and the deep green grass, and – oh dear – to find a fall leaf, at my feet.

What! It is early August. It isn’t fall, yet. Not nearly. How could there be a multicolored fall leaf on the grass? I stoop to pick it up. What a finely crafted leaf it was, with patches of pale green mixed with burgundy spots, and edges in vivid coral pink. Artful, lovely, fragile and totally out of season. It certainly is not October, but I hold the evidence of the inevitable future in my fingers.

When my youngest daughter was about 6 or 7, she would fuss at me if I picked up autumn leaves in the summer. “Mommy, put that down. You can’t get them until it is fall.”

Well, in poignant memory of those times gone by, I keep that IMGfirst leaf, and bring it inside to enjoy it. No one around to tell me it is not time, yet. I decided to keep it, sketch it, and wonder how my now grown daughter would react to it all?

Enjoy summer. (We have added the photo of the leaf and the copy)

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