On a hike near Mount Hood, I saw a leaf. I mean I saw it. When you truly see a thing in all its curious detail and particularity and magnificence, then you welcome the wonder of life. I have to admit that I hesitated just a moment before picking up the leaf. A voice in my head said, "What are you doing? It's just a leaf!"

To a creative person - or to a child - or to me - a decayed leaf is a paisley textile treasure, shining in the noonlight.

You may find a jewel disguised as a rock, or a feather with a story of flight, or even a gum wrapper that reminds you of a tiny fairy parachute. Keep your eyes open, and don't be ashamed to kneel down and notice. Write about the somethings you find at your feet.

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