#16: Raking Leaves

The mornings are crisp, the days are bright, and the sky is as blue as a celestial ocean. Is there anything finer than your home in the fall? As the drying leaves cascade downward in a gentle firestorm of autumn foliage, fall’s greatest rite of passage bestows itself upon you. Time to put down your warm cup of fresh apple cider and mosey outdoors to rake the leaves. Breathe it in… that’s fall.

Oh how you’ve missed the gentle caress of this rake’s handle as the wood grains dance across the gentle contours of your hands. If only the keys on your computer’s keyboard carried a similar texture, then perhaps your delicate hands would be less susceptible to blisters. But what does it really matter? C’est la vie. There’ll be plenty of time to reflect upon the merits of manual labor as you gently fall backward into your pile of beautiful, freshly raked leaves.

Ow! Your back just slammed into the ground! Aren’t leaves in piles supposed to be soft? That’s what cartoons, Hallmark, and common sense have led you to believe. You just basically did a “trust fall” onto paper-covered concrete. How are you supposed to “trust fall” if everything you know about its seasonal activities turn out to be lies?

Better just lay here until your breathing returns to normal. Although you’re in pain, you can’t help but notice how lovely the falling leaves are as they glide down toward you like autumn-colored butterflies… OH MY GOD! What was that?! Something just moved in the leaves! Something moved! It’s a snake! There’s a snake! Don’t just lie there; a snake is right next to you! Within seconds, you’re wielding your rake like a broadsword, blowing through your leaf pile like a Viking through his enemies. Well, if there was a snake, he’s long gone now… just like your once contained yard of leaves you spent over two hours corralling together. Better put something a little stronger in that cider. It’s going to be a long afternoon.

While there’s something commendable about doing your own yard work, it is still work, and most likely you’re not cut out for it. If spreadsheets and meeting memos suddenly fell all over your yard, you’d definitely be the right person to get them organized and entered into a project management portfolio. Unfortunately, this is nature-based, manly work, something you’ve forgotten how to do after getting your Bachelor’s degree. Do the right thing: save some time and just hire those kids up the street who already rake leaves for all the old people on your block. Yeah, they’ll probably make fun of you in private for being the youngest person on their weekend schedule, but it’s worth it to have a full fall Saturday to relax. Plus, kids are probably better at surviving snakebites.