She was such a tiny little being when she came forth. So minuscule from her mother’s womb that neither parent thought she would survive the vicissitudes of nature that awaited her. But she came from strong stock. Her father’s roots were deep; her mother’s character, strong and flexible. They gathered her siblings, rela­tives and friends round and prayed for her to blossom and thrive.

And she did. She grew as big as her siblings and stronger than her sisters. They all looked up to her—as her attitude put her on top of the world. She had a colorful personality—and pleased all who knew her. Folks who knew her history were amazed at her stamina and resilience through all that the world threw at her.

The seasonal cold of Minnesota was not to her liking. But, she actually lived the longest of all her family; probably due to the protective environment in which she was raised. She was so saddened to see each family member fall by the wayside.

But as with all life; she too knew her’s must end. She hung on as long as she could but noted how her strength lessened, her skin grew thin and wrinkled, her veins protruding.

But she cared not; for she had lived a good life.

In the end, she glanced skyward on her last day, thanking God for such a beautiful sight. Then, in a gust of wind, her grip let go—and she was gone. She drifted off—to join her family—on another adventure. She was smiling all the way.

Hannah was the last beautiful red maple leaf to fall—albeit with grace.

Jack Neely

Jack Neely is a St. Anthony Park resident who has been enjoying leaves for 52 years.

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