It was an autumn morning, the first of the year. Outside, the sky held back its light, leaving only an austere gray composed of mist and fog. What light did reach the place had diminished significantly from the prior week. The torch of summer had been passed to fall, and was slowly burning itself out.
All summer long, the trees had absorbed the sweltering heat of the sun. And now, with its departure, the trees released that heat through the crackling reds, yellows and ochres of its leaves. Burning pyres that blazed to exhaustion. Their ashes softly borne away by the wind, one by one.