The rest of the story . . .

The Story Behind Leaf

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It had been a long day. When my husband walked through the door, I handed our two year old son to him and announced, "I'm going for a walk."


We had just moved from the city where a walk around the block would take ten minutes, maybe fifteen if I dawdled. Out here in the country, a walk around the block was a mile by a mile by a mile by a . . . 


It was much longer. 


Halfway around 'the block,' I was chased by a dog, so by the time I turned onto the last road and headed down the home stretch I was exhausted!

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The story continues here . . . 


I focused on a tree at the end of our driveway and kept plodding. As I got closer, I noticed a dried up, shrivelled, old leaf in the middle of all the fresh spring leaves popping open on the tree. I started wondering about that leaf. Why was he still clinging to the branch? Why hadn't he left months ago with all the other autumn leaves? (Notice, right from the start Leaf was a he.)


I wondered and 'what if'd' all the way down the road and up my driveway and into the house where I flopped onto my bed for a much needed nap. When I woke up, I continued on with my life. But Leaf wouldn't leave me alone. 


I found myself scribbling thoughts and ideas and phrases on whatever scraps of paper were at hand. Eventually, I gathered up all those scraps of paper and started to weave them into a story. It took a loooong time -- there were large gaps between writing sessions and countless rewrites -- but fourteen years later, I finally held Leaf  in my hand. 


Just in time to help me navigate the changeable teenage years with my now sixteen year old son and his thirteen year old brother.

Elsie Archer's beautiful watercolour illustrations bring Leaf's story to life.

Elsie Archer's beautiful watercolour illustrations bring Leaf's story to life.