Last weekend, on Saturday, I found myself raking mounds of leaves onto a piece of canvas resembling a king sized bed sheet. When the pile was sufficiently high and occupied every square inch of the sheet I would drag it to a low lying area way in the back of my yard. I keep dumping the leaves there. A huge amount of Oak, Maple, Ash leaves plus pine needles are always waiting for me. They are very familiar to me because this is a routine I repeat for four weekends every fall. Twenty years. The funny part is that by the time all the leaves are piled out back it looks like a small mountain. Then it all sinks down to the original level when Winter's rain and snow rest on it.
Even though I wind up with a sore back I actually enjoy the monotony of this routine. The cool crispness of the air, the smell of wet leaves like moldy mushrooms and neighbors saying "that time of the year again, eh?". I always get that deja vu thing going just like in the movie Groundhog Day. I hated it the first few years but now I enjoy and savor every minute of it. It's a Zen thing now. I work and work and before I realize it's getting dark and I rush to finish. I never just finish, there has to be a mad rush to complete something before the day is done. Then when its too dark, I finally relent and leave the field of battle. Once I'm in the warm confines of the house, I think about how I'll finish tomorrow.
The leaves are waiting.