|The Rising Tide|
We've entered peak leaf season here at Fencebroke Promontory. It's that magical time of year when we celebrate the many delights of having three gigantic deciduous trees in our front yard. A time when blizzard-thick drifts of leaves pile against the door and a rich humusy mulch begins to accumulate on the living room rug. A time when kids disappear into leaf-piles for so long that Dad considers filing a missing persons report and then jump out screaming in an emergency test of Dad's cardiac function. A time for getting slapped in the face by earthbound, dinner-plate-sized maple leaves and to always beware the treacherous world of abandoned toy trucks and scooters now hidden underfoot. Above all, though, November is a time for raking.
And raking some more.
To be a gardener, during the Festival of Foliar Inundation, is a repetitive labor of patience, diligence, and, when those inevitably fail, despair. Any hope of tackling one of the many, many projects typically found on a gardener's Autumn docket is quickly smothered under a wet heap of leaves. Oh, I've tried, trust me, to carry on as though I could still see the ground, like the garden was something other than a sea of red and yellow into which our house was slowly sinking, but always failed. One cannot easily transplant, for example, though the Fall is said to be a great time to do so, when one cannot discern where the garden ends and the rest of the world begins. I once spent half an hour trying to plant a Fuchsia into some exceptionally compacted soil that turned out, once the leaves were cleared, to be the sidewalk. Back to the rake, then.
Fellow horticulturists occasionally chide me for bemoaning too much of what they consider a good thing:
"Just let the leaves stay in your garden beds; they're great mulch."
"Run over them with the lawn mower."
"Put them in the compost bin, they're good as gold!"
Well, I did all of these things three weeks ago. Now I can't even find the beds, the lawn mower, or the compost bin because they've all been devoured by the autumnal avalanche that so rudely didn't stop just because the bin was full. I cannot simply redirect or quarantine the fall to favorable or beneficial areas of the property any more than you could restrict a household flood to the waterproof rooms of your house. The leaves are the property now. I'm raking just to stay afloat
But, you know, by all means, any of you leaf-hoarders out there, if you're so fond of them, please come help yourselves. Take them all. And if you find my kids, please tell them to come inside.