Leaves at the mercy of the wind clattered down the road. They were headed north, as the summer winds tried to have one last say before being driven out of this part of the world for the year. The warmth wouldn’t last long, even the wind knew it; despite its direction, the unmistakable scent of winter was obvious. It was clean and crisp, the smell of quiet and stillness. All the noise of the leaves could not drown it out.
The struggle between summer and winter would last a bit longer, giving rise to a beautiful autumn, but the outcome itself was never in doubt. Winter would arrive once more and bring the world some much needed rest. Until then, the leaves, once vibrant and alive, would play out the struggle, caught by forces they knew but could no longer influence. They would be blown back and forth awhile longer. Eventually, buried by snow, they would return to the earth and help feed the next generation. In the end, winter always wins.
Indeed, already the wind has shifted, and the leaves headed back the way they came. A chill had snuck into the air, and the sun is already long into its descent toward the horizon. It won’t be long now.