I'm by no means a leaf collector, but from time to time I pick one up
and add it to my little collection. They remind me of places I've lived
or visited and I love how they change color as they dry. The ginkgo is
from a tree outside my first New York apartment, when I lived in Hell's
Kitchen. The epimedium leaves are from a photo shoot we did at Martha
Stewart. The tall yellow leaf is from a hike my husband and I took
during our honeymoon in Costa Rica. The Japanese maple is from a nearby
brownstone when we lived in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
I take a leaf now and then and throw them in a big book and forget about
them, and years go by. When I discover them again, tucked in the pages
of various books throughout the house, I can usually remember where they
came from and what was going on when I grabbed it. One is from my
grandfather's funeral, and when I found it recently, I could remember
exactly what the sky looked like that day and how the trees rustled in
the wind. And that is why I keep them around.