Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The Leaves of Fall
Having grown up in a woods the leaves fell on the ground like a great heavy blanket. As kids we were the ones who got to rake the leaves. You have to understand, living in a woods means LOTS of leaves. At first raking the leaves down the hill towards the other part of the woods was easy. A row would be started and the three of us would continue to push it down hill. It didn't take long to have a row of leaves that was knee deep and we were only half way finished! They became heavier and harder to move with every yard of leaves we picked up. They were no longer fluffy and light, these leaves were now broken and heavy. We were easily distracted at this point and started playing around. Maybe, we'd pretend it was a fence, meant to keep the horses in, but before long the horses (us) would be jumping the fence of leaves and running wild around the woods. Our parents would remind us that supper would be waiting when we finished moving the leaves. Again, we'd work on getting them down that hill to the edge of our path to the chicken house. Hours would pass since this job began....... we were tired and hungry and we'd find ourselves resting in the leaves as if it were our beds. The smell of those leaves is like nothing else, earthy and rich. Getting finished was ever so hard. If we were trying to beat a rain it was even worse. You can't rake wet leaves. We'd go inside and know that those leaves still had to be moved and now they were in a pile, a wet pile of leaves.
We also raked leaves on the west side of the house. This side of the house was not as difficult, fewer trees maybe. We also raked these to the driveway and piled them high and burnt them. We could do this side of the house in just a few short hours. When we finished we'd jump in the leaves on the driveway, we jump over them to see who could jump the highest. We'd hide in the leaves too. But what I remember most was burning these leaves. If you want to be sure fall is here, just smell burning leaves. Of course, I know that you aren't suppose to burn leaves now, it is bad for the environment. But just a little pile, just to smell that burning leaf smell again?
To this day raking leaves is my least favorite job. Sometimes I will do it and sometime I won't. It never seems to matter now. I don't live in a woods, although trees shade my house. I don't have neighbors that complain that my leaves are blowing in their yard. It always seems that come spring the leaves are gone, they have blown this way and that way, no longer a blanket on the grass. The older I get the less I care. We have many different ways of moving big piles now, I'll put them on a tarp and pull them with the four wheeler to the horse pasture. Usually they are subject to escape on the way, leaving a little trail of leaves.
Like I said before, I really don't care anymore. Richard also has a great leaf blower, his joy in life is finding "toys" to make work easier. He will use this around the house to aid in raking, again I am the one who rakes. For the most part I just rather let Mother Nature move the leaves in her own time. It always seems to work out fine. I perfer to sit and watch the leaves fall and know I don't have to rake them if I don't want to.