The maples steal my breath
with glowing leaves the colors of fire.
Likewise the birch
golden against deep blue sky.

Walk among them now
on a crisp sunny day.
Inhale the shades of red, yellow, and orange
until, in your exhale, you could almost breathe fire
from the glory of the colors and scents of autumn.

We could be this—
such lovers of trees and leaves—
that we become like dragons
filled with beauty and flames.
Graceful, grateful, untamed.

These days of rich fall colors are so few
that to plant ourselves in front of screens
in small windowless heated spaces
is nearly criminal.

Removed from such wonders, we risk despair.
That heavy place capable of pulling us down to a state
of no color, no freshness, no hope, no action.

Grief is better. There are still glimpses of light
in between the dark spaces.
There is still the chance to breathe in, to breathe out,
And maybe even to breathe fire.

Because fire is what we need.
Not the blazing, destroying, out of control kind,
but the flames that bring light and warmth,
that spark ideas and kindle energy.

If grief is where you are living right now,
then take yourself outside.
Not to fix or cure or even send away,
but to remember the story of the leaves
and to breathe with the change of seasons.

To know that you are part of all that is Wild,
all that is swirling and blowing in the wind
and all that will settle in blankets of snow.