It was a typical fall morning in Inlet with the cool air mixing with the foggy mist rolling off the Fulton Chain.
When I arrived at school that morning the grass on the school grounds was wet and blanketed with leaves.
By the time my fourth grade classmates and I headed out for lunch recess the ground had dried and the fallen bounty crunched beneath our feet.
We cleared trails by scuffing our feet in the leaves around the entire hillside and lower portions of the play area behind our little schoolhouse.
Within the giant maze we engaged in a game of tag.
The air was filled with laughter and our cries of fouls as we baited our captures inside the maze.
We were saddened when we heard the little hand held bell ring—our signal that recess had come to an end.
None of us wanted to go back inside. I, for one, was not ready to focus on any work for more than a half hour once I returned to my desk.
Nonetheless, we were prodded into writing an essay about the fall.
I fumbled with my pencil and jotted out an outline in my essay book. I doodled a group of overlapping leaves on scrap paper.
I pictured a single leaf that stood out from the others on an old Maple tree in the school yard.
From early spring until this week it watched over us as we played. Up high and tightly glued to its branch it gathered sun, fended off rain, and fluttered in the darkness.
In the end it was pulled away from its home and discarded in a cold wind.
Now on the ground, we unknowingly stomped over it.
When school let out for the day I went outside and searched for the leaf among its fallen counterparts.
Scuffing through the thousands of dull colored reds, oranges and browns I came across one noble bright red leaf. That must be the one, I thought.
I plucked it from the ground and placed it into the crotch of the Maple in hopes that it might watch over our games for a few more days.