Monday, December 02, 2019

On Raking Leaves

Yesterday I raked leaves.

Leaves come in two seasons here in New Home:  The first is the season (about now) with what the rest of the country (and where I grew up) happens in October or November, with the trees that are not native to this place.  The second is in February, when all the oaks drop their tiny leaves that burrow into the grass and (given time) make a lovely mat.

Raking leaves has never been my favorite task.  I rank it slightly above mowing the lawn (less times required overall) but certainly lower that working in the garden.  Still, The Ravishing Mrs. TB likes a raked lawn, so out I go.

Raking growing up, we had fallen Fruitless Mulberry leaves.  They are big and rake easily.  The leaves here seem less easy - in my yard I have a melange of leaves from the tree that grows in back (and is helpfully blocking out our new neighbors), the leaves that blew in from everyone else's yards, and those darn oak leaves that are not nearly as cooperative as I would like.  The result of this collection is that I (inevitably) seem to get 90% of the leaves, but there is always that left over 10% that burrow themselves into the grass and defy me.  I have learned to let them go. 

My grandfather raked leaves almost continually.  I feel as is he was always raking leaves, especially after my grandmother passed away - Literally every morning he was out there, collecting the 20 or 25 leaves that had fallen from the night before. I have not reached this level yet - but perhaps this becomes the purview of the old, living in their memories and the sense that today, I made something better.

In some ways, raking bridges the gap of 30+ years and reminds me of him.

I have one more round of raking to do in back (not all the leaves have fallen off our tree - an inconvenience, but I would prefer to let the wind work that have me stand there and continue to shake the tree).  And then on to the front yard, where there are undoubtedly at least three seasons to be performed before things are relatively right.

Falling leaves and raking leaves - once I would have said the first is seasonal.  Now, I suspect that it has become The Great Dao, the Ying and Yang of existence:  the leaves ever falling, me ever raking.  Perhaps this, and this alone, keeps the universe in balance.


  1. I like that! The balance of the universe has its fulcrum on TB and his rake?


    Works for me! :)

  2. Perhaps indeed. You never know. :-)

  3. Thanks Glen! I suspect my raking abilities (or inabilities) do not rise to the level of cosmic import, but one never knows.

  4. Linda, stranger things have happened.

  5. Anonymous4:41 PM

    My, the memories this brought back. My father, born in 1902 and gone 20+ years now, didn't talk much about his childhood until the subject of raking leaves happened to be mentioned. He always became vey animated when talking about his childhood chore of "raking leaves". It seems this family home had a large Magnolia tree in front. Raking those leaves was his own personal purgatory. He said each leaf stuck on a rake spine and had to be individually removed. In his later years, we had a watercolor artist paint a picture of his home which was still standing. He required that she include that Magnolia in the painting. Good memories. Thank you, Julia

  6. Julia, it is odd sometimes what triggers our memories. I am glad you have that of your father. And very amusing that he requested the tree in the picture.

    Thanks for stopping by!


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