Sunday, 28 May 2017

Drifts of leaves

I never realised why they're called "leaves" before, but of course it's because they "leave" the tree and fall to the ground. They are what's left after the annual molt that deciduous trees undergo as they prepare for winter. These are introduced trees. All along Harris Street. And they have left a trail of crunchy dry leaves for everyone to walk on.

As people walk on the leaves they are cracked up by the footfalls and end up as flaked of brown leaf fragments on the pavement. You can hear the leaves crunching like eggshells or those plastic container halves that you buy toys in at the entrances of grocery stores, for children to get excited about; small plastic toys with small plastic casings. That's what the leaves sound like as they are crunched underfoot as you walk down the footpath.

While the air had a cool tinge to it today it was a glorious autumn day in Sydney, with hundreds and thousands of men, women and children out and enjoying the sunshine in Darling Harbour and Chinatown. The guard fences set up for the Vivid Sydney festival are everywhere, set to restrain the crowds expected to gather at night to see the lightshows. But during the day people just walk around them heedless, drinking in the sunshine in their short sleeved garments and their shorts.

While the crowds were out today you can still feel the change in the season coming. The leaves on the pavements remind us that the change is upon us now. The trees know even if the young people out and about do not seem to care about it. The leaves are the visible sign that the season is changing from warm to cold. Night owls like myself, who spend hours on social media in the evening, will be awake to the change because many of us go out to walk during the daylight hours to get exercise. We watch the change of season from our perches on the edges of the buildings and are once again amazed by the complex web of interlocking mechanisms that constitutes the lived world.

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