I used to live in a share house in the city. It was a very old terrace house full of character and odd people from various countries and walks of life.
In this share house stood a lonely, out-of-tune piano, piled high with an assortment of items, including an out-of-date stereo with a broken volume dial, some crackly speakers, second-hand vinyl records, a stuffed rabbit with an eye-patch that had long since fallen off and a tool used for tightening skateboard trucks.
Almost a year ago I walked out of the front door of that sad old house to enjoy a warm day in the golden Autumn sun. For the life of me I cannot recall what else I did on this day apart from one tiny, seemingly insignificant detail...
I swung open the heavy front wooden door, stepped out of the rusted, creaky front gate and strolled up the street towards the city.
In the city the autumn hues are sometimes overlooked in the context of large buildings and wide, busy streets. However, it was on this morning, during my stroll that I recalled one of the things I missed most from my days as an eager student in my university town of Armidale... A road.
Elm Avenue is a perfectly picturesque street, lined with deciduous English Elm trees that border the quiet bitumen road that leads to the university. At the beginning of Autumn every year, the luscious green leaves of the trees of Elm Avenue would transform into shades of bright ruby, before fading to lighter golden hues and fluttering gently to the earth with the slightest gust of cool wind from the mountains.
I count myself amongst one of the city residents, preoccupied with work and more work, who initially failed to notice the beauty of a small, autumn tree on my street at the beginning of it's transformation from vibrant green to red, and finally a stark skeleton, bearing no foliage at all. Luckily for me though, I happened upon it on my Autumn stroll on that quiet morning.
This small, beautiful tree reminded me that no matter what kind of day I had at work, no matter why kind of 'storm-in-a-teacup' issue was plaguing the share house, and no matter what kind of insignificant issue I was bothered by in terms of my career, there is beauty to beheld in the most unlikely of places.
On a tiny, crooked street, opposite an asian food store, a cafe, a church I had never before heard of and amongst a crowd of fuzzy people I might never see again in my life stood this remarkable little wonder of nature.
When you think about it, life does not have to be as complicated as we make it.