Sunday, October 5, 2008
When is the last time you actually raked leaves?
I rarely hear the scrape of a rake on the chill autumn air anymore. Once a sure sign of fall, it has been replaced by the roar of the leaf blower. Yes, I know raking is back-breaking work, but there is something nostalgic about it for me.
As kids, we played endless games involving raking the leaves into long lines and gigantic piles. We would jump in the leaves, roll around scattering them to the winds, then rake them up again. No doubt encouraged by the adults in the family, we spent long hours on the weekends breathing the fresh air and tiring ourselves out. Eventually the leaf piles would get burned. There was nothing like the smell of burning leaves. And the danger and excitement of it.
One of my favorite games was to rake the leaves into a blueprint of a house. We would make rooms and doors and windows. We had to come and go through the doors of our make-believe house. Stepping over the "walls" was not allowed. We would argue over furnishings and create fake dinner parties. Sometimes we would actually make leaf neighborhoods with different styles of houses.
I don't see kids playing in the leaves anymore. The lawn services come, blow them all into bags and haul them away to the recycling center. Pity really. Some brilliant architect could get his start by designing leaf houses.