I’m glad I’m not in Buffalo, NY. I’m more like a Bison-stander in Oshtemo, MI. You heard me. I’m an innocent bison-stander exhaling fog and ice while dusted in snow. The snow blower I borrowed really blew. The blowback covered my mane like a mountain peak. I needed to take a break and simply poise like a hunch backed beast.
My glasses served as deflectors of the blizz thrown into the breeze. I really didn’t want to see the reality before me anyhow. My mantra of movement stalled out, so I took a break to watch Notre Dame battle Boston College; two Catholic teams fighting for the approval of touchdown Jesus. The Irish Catholics didn’t need a Hail-Mary to win, they crossed themselves over and over, up and down the field. At the half they were up 37 to ZERO.
Back to work pushing and shoving 15 plus inches of frightful. Thankful that my brother-in-law let me borrow his snow thrower after a belt on mine melted and snapped, I walked another lap. After a while I got a text from my brother.
“It’s a great game if you can see it!! The Boston College players are invisible.” Their white uniforms transformed them into ghostly figures. The snow washing them out of the camera’s ability to receive.
I, on the other hand, kept trying to gain ten yards in my driveway. It seemed like fourth and long ad infinitum. The more I pushed, the more the deep deep winter pushed back. The all-day scrimmage scrambled my will to mush instead of the “Mush! Mush!” of the Iditarod determination.
At this point I can’t even keep my metaphors straight.
I’m about to layer up again and address the accumulation. This time the roof needs relief. It seems I just got done raking leaves…now I will rake the roof. Raise the roof?!?
Autumn has my heart, always. There’s something about a blushing tree that draws my attention. Maybe it’s emotion. Could be a touch of empathy for the forest as it strolls toward dormancy. The maples, especially, gasp with color as their breathing slows. Summer draws down. The sun flattens its course more each day and the leaves, well, they look up to the trees.
Yeah. Beauty is fleeting. Duty calls. It’s the first time in eleven years I’ll have serious leafage. At the last house we had one small tree in the front and one in the back. The house before that had a single, somewhat insignificant, maple in the front. Leaf cleanup consisted of a bit of extra mowing.
This is gonna blow.
If I had my druthers, I’d light ‘em up where they lay, like the controlled burn on the trails around here. It’d get out of hand though. One little gust of wind and Smokey the Bear would wag his taloned digit at me while the neighbors prayed for favorable winds.
I do love the smell of burning leaves though. I wonder if there’s a ‘burned leaves’ candle scent? There is a warm tobacco pipe scented candle, of which I have two. So much easier than loading one of my own.
Leave it be.
A couple of weeks have passed and our little house in the woods appears surrounded by an arbor nudist colony. The sun makes its appearance earlier through the barren branches rather than above them.
Now, on a cloudless night, the moon floats effortlessly in and through the forest. Hide and seek is more like seek and ye shall find. Why, last night, that great warm gray disc in the sky entered my peripheral several times. In an odd way I felt I was being surveilled. Maybe it’s the sun’s way of keeping an eye on us. That’s worth reflecting on, no?
How does God keep all the balls in the air? Sun? Moon? Our Mother Earth?
Leaves. Squirrel! Squirrel in the leaves. My mind seems as scattered as the roaming gang of leaves on a windy day.
Back to the task which took four separate days. A blower and an occasional rake shooed the maddening crowd onto the forest floor. The last of the gripping oak leaves I mulched with the mower. It is finished. Maybe. I survived the first fall here without being a fall guy. The labor was not in vain as my veins felt the rush of a heart pounding a bit harder. Light aerobics might be a good description.