Curiosity is an instinct. Whenever any one of your five senses detects something new, something different, something strange, something out of the ordinary, or even just out-of-place; – a thing you’ve never encountered before; – your curiosity instinct kicks in and draws your attention to it. Curiosity is the cutting edge of fear. You must compulsively investigate to determine whether this unknown thing poses a threat or not. It may well be altogether benign but your curiosity must be satisfied one way or another. The stress induced by the unknown thing must be resolved. The unknown must somehow become known.

Amid the backdrop orange/brown/green colors of decaying leaves, lawn grass and deep shadow shines forth a curiously bright white object. Curiosity aroused I investigate. Standing out in high contrast I at first assumed it to be just another piece of blown-in trash spoiling the continuity of the lawn, but on closer approach I discover it is just another leaf among the leaves – but an extraordinary one. It is as white as snow.

Maple Leaf, fallen, turned white on abaxial or back side

Over the years I’ve seen them before; and if I were to hazard a wild guess I would estimate these white leaves appear in a ratio of about one in twenty thousand. I’ve seen two, maybe four, this year. At a rate of 1 in 20,000 I’ll likely go to my grave never knowing the why or the how of it; my curiosity never fully satisfied.

Same maple leaf, fallen, turned mottled on adaxial or front side and white on the abaxial or back

About The Twentieth Man

Age 69
This entry was posted in Expository Writing, Observations, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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