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By Kimberly Motley Sherrod

As I walked before the rising mid-Autumn sun, the spellbinding exaggerated reverberations of crushing leaves beneath my feet created an indulgence of playful momentary joy. I was experiencing a rebirth of creativity. I had been in a creative writing desert—thirsting for steadily flowing imagination. Now, words began rampantly moving and begging me to write their story. But I could not—I was caught up in the moment.  

Initially, I intensely listened to the melodic crushing. It was as if I was listening to philharmonic or the brass section of a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) marching band rocking and swaying to upbeat vibes–Go AAMU Bulldogs! I continued to be directed by the movement and signal of the drum major—powerful words. I began to gracefully arrange words into thoughts and then again not so gracefully as I began kicking leaves and listening to the swoosh rustling sound of movement and excitement.

Secondly, magical musical notes brought forth memories of running on streets and trails overladed by falling crisp vibrant red, yellow, orange, leaves which reminded  me to accept the ebb and flow of inspiration. You know treat it like a trail run—never the same path. 

Finally, the pleasant sound reminded me of:  raking leaves in my Grandparent’s yard; jumping and running through piles of leaves with my young children; tossing up leaves or trying to catch one gently rocked and cradled by the wind. 

I don’t know why I was enraptured by the melody of crushing leaves; other than needing a paradigm shift. The reason is not of importance. Clinging to the rhythmic sound and joy which rushed over me is the takeaway. As we have heard, “Joy comes in the morning.” Inspiration, I did more than listened, I heard!

- Kimberly Motley Sherrod is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) with a Master of Art Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Bachelor of Science from Alabama A & M University. Her motto: Motivating seniors and others to live life energetically at every stage.