Of all the seasons fall is the most beautiful in Oklahoma. Sunshine warms the body and soul to perfection like the toaster occasionally toasts my bread. I struggle so often to get the perfect toast but for sunshine we leave ourselves at the mercy of sun. Surprisingly life is really wonderful with out the weight of trying to be perfect or having no say in spread of sunshine and many wonderful things that are gifted to us.
After unusually wet early October, we are now blessed again with sunny weather. It is just so nourishing and heartwarming to take a walk around neighbor hood or drive around town to watch the trees bursting with colors of fall. Sun leaves a golden hue on top of the trees still with leaves. Rain and wind has littered the ground with leaves. I sit out and watch those dry leaves falling and dancing in air for a while before their gentle and quiet fall. Even in their demise they offer beauty and solace to the onlookers. Some of them get stuck in cobwebs trembling and quivering in space like hanging between eternity and mortality.
On those warm, beautiful and quiet days of fall the only annoying thing is the sound of leaf blowers and big monster lawnmowers. We have to bear them like many other nuisances of modern life. I have been delaying to call my lawn mower guy to stretch the lovely sight that my yard, still full of leaves, offers me. I have never bagged leaves accept for once and have stayed away from it because of the strain that it causes to my back. But I am not yet ready to let go of those leaves by those nasty blowers either.
So I surveyed the leaves covered front yard. It was smaller than my back yard. With winds calm it looked like millions of tiny fishes were basking under the bright sun. I had left the scene untouched for as long as I could but it was time to come out of my imaginative state and do some cleanup. Still In my desire to get close to nature's simple beauty I decided to give raking a try but this time with a feminine touch and make my work enjoyable rather then speedy. At my age in figuring out the quality of life, speed is the last factor any way. So I over looked the big black trashcan and the heavy shovel and picked my tall kitchen wastebasket, dust pan, roll of small trash bags, my step stool, gloves and the lightest wooden rake. Set everything on side and raked a small area. The lawn was so full of leaves it took only couple of minutes to make a big pile. I made few piles knit closely and sat on step stool as close to big pile of leaves as I could. I laid down the wastebasket vertically and with the help of dustpan and some time just with hands filled it up. More than three fourth full I took out the plastic bag and stuffed it a little more with leaves.
The sun's rays warming my face and soft breeze keeping me cool I was amazingly happy to be able to work in my yard and be close to those leaves. Often I took out my gloves to feel them. In their brown color with transparent thin veins they were as alive as I am with my flesh and blood under my brown skin. Kissed by the morning dew some were still wet and moist like my own drippy nose. I worked for an hour interrupted only by a green grasshopper that said hello and flew away. A brown butterfly blended so well with leaves that I almost bagged it. I stopped for few minutes to watch it flutter and fly. While filling the bags some leaves escaped their destiny. I stopped and watched them dancing away to the street. Some settled on the concrete but some flew a little further to destination unknown.
I worked for about an hour and filled about ten bags. A little tired I got up and looked around. The fact that I barely had made a dent in that yard full of leaves hardly bothered me. The pleasure that I found in working every minute of that hour was immense. In next few days I worked few more hours at my slow and easy speed to fill nine or ten bags at a time. Finally the front yard was showing more green than brown but the autumn clouds and cold wind returned. My back yard is still untouched and full with those crisp and tender brown leaves. The trees are almost bare now. As much as I would like to work in my back yard to be close to this soul touching weather I know it would be a bit too much for me. Eventually it would be cleaned up with those monster blowers mercilessly but not before I enjoy few more weeks of fall with the yard full of leaves. In the mean time I have to figure out how to dispose of those fifty or so feather light bags.
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