Saturday essay: Fallen leaves
Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
— Emily Bronte
But as those many leaves flutter, fall and pile up in the home’s gutters and now-dormant yard, the homeowner finds precious little to be blissful about.
There is a discernible melancholy that comes with the seasonal chore of collecting leaves. It’s not just the labor-intensive work for one who finds himself knee-deep in autumn’s fallen glory. It’s the transition from fall’s brilliant spectacle to the gray days of winter — which can seem interminable when ice and snow linger for months.
It’s the same each year. As the last of the Halloween candy disappears, there comes a rapid slide to Thanksgiving, Christmas and ultimately New Year’s Eve. In a blur, it seems, a year full of promise and anticipation fades away as the days grow shorter and the nights linger.
Special events and memorable occasions, those that we eagerly anticipated, sometimes for months beforehand, have come and gone. The memories mingle with a momentary sadness over what was thoroughly enjoyed — and now is done.
But unlike the dried-out leaves now under foot, those memories will remain vibrant, perhaps even for decades to come. And as the last of the leaves finally are raked away, the exhausted laborer, despite his aches and pains, finds solace in the anticipation of spring’s renewal and future possibilities.
— Bob Pellegrino