Following the Orange Leaf

The first book I ever illustrated was “And the Light Comes In”—a picture book that I wrote and my husband designed. When we finished the book we wanted to have a book release party and have all the original artwork from the book displayed and for sale there. But where to have the party? That was the question. 

I was having coffee at a bakery near my home and considering this question as I stared out the window. It was nice outside, so I went for a walk. As I walked down the sidewalk I prayed about where to have the show, and without really thinking about it I began following a leaf. It was a brilliantly orange and red leaf, tinged with spring green, and it was tumbling along the sidewalk in the wind. Isn’t that a pretty picture? Sorry I’m going to have to ruin it. It was a fake leaf. Pretty, but definitely mass-produced.  

I followed it past a number of stores. I stopped when it stopped ,and I continued  when it continued. Finally it rested in front of a store I’d never seen before. I picked up the leaf and went in. The first thing I noticed was an enormous tree at the front of the store. It was beautiful! The other thing I noticed was that the whole store was full of sparkly lights, little chandeliers and pendents. I went to the front desk, still twirling the leaf in my hand and spoke to the manager about having my release party there. 

Prayers are not often answered with fake foliage, but that one was, and it’s such lovely memory.