The Midnight Sun
The Good Life
Take me. I'm yours.
The Way Home
We Take Care of Our Own
The Holy Days
Fall On Me
Bringing It All Back Home
Learn to Be Still
Love the One You're With
The colors are breathtaking. Autumn is a stunningly beautiful time of the year here in the Northeast. Teachings from Mother Nature abound as I look around at the changing of the guards. I’m in awe of the Intelligence I cannot see that knows exactly when to turn a green leaf yellow or red or orange. Such an artist, She is, her palette unbounded in subtle hues.
As a kid, fall was family time with all of us outside playing in the leaves. Actually, my parents raked the leaves and we played with them though sometimes they too would surrender to the call and fall into the piles they had just made!
Soon we were old enough to have our own rakes and our own piles of the fallen ones. Some leaves were still green and soft, others drying with tips folding inward, still others dried out and crumbling. I loved the sound the rake would make as it gathered the leaves between it’s plastic fingers, a nearly silent ritual that brought us outside and into the change of seasons. Most times, other families were out too, the squeals of happy kids swept up by the wind that shook them loose. Togetherness and exercise, as the cool air filled our lungs while our arms repeated the same motion over and over again, a zen meditation that turned the ordinary into the sacred.
One day my father upgraded to a hand push wheelcart with a rotating “brush” that swept the leaves into a waiting cloth basket. It was easier for him and for us too, as our teen years blurred the joy of what we began to see as a chore.
I’m thinking of those days and missing them as the crackle of the leaves under the rake has given way to motorized blowers that fill the air with diesel while the pulse of the mini motor cuts through the peaceful quiet. Families replaced with hired help with big trucks that haul big equipment to do a job we did with just one rake. Sure, it’s more effective, doing in a third of the time what took us hours, but the pile of leaves is no better. Except now, there are few, if any, kids falling backwards into them, knowing the smell of autumn intimately because you lay with it, breathing in deeply the fragrance of those leaves, a scent you never forget, as your legs kicked wildly sending them up and back down again, recreating their fall from grace.
Though our beautiful, big maple tree in the front yard is long gone, the neighbor's leaves cover the grass. "Should I call the summer lawn guy and have him take care of them. “No,” I said, “I’ll rake them".