Autumn, how do I love thee

Why must people blow all the leaves away so soon after they retire from the branches? What is the harm in letting the green grass and orange leaves mingle for a while? I am drawn to the contrasting colors, the way the leaves haven’t yet been crumbled or wilted by inclement weather. Nothing could be more attractive on a lawn in November than the annual meeting of the Autumn Social Club.

We only have a few weeks to enjoy the metamorphosis before winter steals autumn’s lunch money and takes over the playground. I’d much rather people let the season have its fun instead of shoving it away as if it never happened.

I suppose deep down inside I am still a child raking leaves for quarters out of my father’s pockets. We used to bring them into the back of the yard by the shed, carelessly leaving sticks and rocks in the pile out of our impatience to jump inside and bury ourselves, leaving only our feet, fingers, and heads sticking out. The worst piles were damp and muddy, but when we heard that delightfully crisp crunching underneath our shoes we knew it was the perfect day to dive in.

I haven’t spotted any children outside playing in the leaves this season. I’ve only seen the teams of landscapers with their gasoline-powered blowers keeping the suburban lawns free from anything natural and wild. When did children stop raking leaves? No video game or TV show can replace the simple joy of coming inside after an afternoon of pile-diving to your mom’s hot cider and warm hugs. I wonder if landscapers ever jump in the leaves when no one is watching…

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