Behind my home there is a young tree, a sapling I suppose, planted a few years ago to replace another that had died. It's a maple I think and this year was the first that the leaves turned that rich autumn red.
Most of them are gone now, fallen as is usual, but at the very top of the tree there is a cluster that hangs on. For some reason, every time I see them, they give me hope. I think we may have to rephrase Emily Dickinson a bit:
Hope is the tree with red leaves
That linger at the top
And waver in the winter wind
And never wish to drop