It was a crisp fall day. The leaves on the solemn trees in the courtyard were in the early stages of their transformation. It is a precarious time in the leave's life cycle Lucinda thought to herself. The leaves were just barely showing the signs of the vivacious colors they would grow to wear in the coming weeks. The life cycle of a leaf is refreshingly straightforward she thought as she deftly swung herself onto a low branch of a tree. The leaves bud with the first steady rays of sunshine in the spring. Their surface feels ripe, a waxy coat protecting the young leaf from the harsh elements of nature. Every leaf experiences downpours and whip like winds, yet they are strong enough to hold on to their life source. By the time autumn reveals herself the leaves sense from some ancient understanding that they will soon die. They are naturally weaker than they were earlier in the year, but they have enough strength to dress themselves in nature's most timeless, flamboyant raiment. They become the sparkling, glowing embers of the dying fire, garbed in rich, golden hues. A sagacity as old as life itself gently reminds the leaf when it is time to let go of all that is familiar. Then they gracefully drift to the earth, embarking on life's next great adventure.

While Lucinda pondered upon this biologically incorrect, yet romantic depiction of the life of a leaf, a random memory brushed across her mind. A faint smile stole across her lips as she recalled a bittersweet memory. When she was still a naïve schoolgirl she would run to catch a leaf in midair at this auspicious moment. It was a sport and the prize was a wish that would come true. She was only six years old, frantically catching a leaf on a blustery day in the school yard. She slipped in a puddle, fell in a strange position, and sprained her arm. When she opened her fist through clenched teeth, the throbbing pain in her arm was mitigated by the fact that she had caught the leaf. Lucinda laughed out loud to herself as she snapped back to reality. She was still a naïve schoolgirl, though she was now a senior in high school. Definitely a precarious time in one's life she noted.