No, I’m not suggesting that Thanksgiving week wouldn’t be right and whole and real without a rake – any more than without Black Friday, at least in my life. But this year we returned from Florida to Michigan for the holidays to find the leaves that were on the tree when we left were now on the ground. For a couple years our son raked them because he was living with us, other years they would blow away, probably to a neighbor’s yard, or the farmer’s hedge row behind them.
This year they were not only on the ground, they were embedded in long grass. They couldn’t be blown into a big pile on a sheet, they had to be raked and picked up, and it is hard work with the long grass. JB got most of them up this afternoon, with a little help from me – as much as I could do. Now we are drinking hot chocolate, and I bet JB has closed his eyes as he sits in his recliner downstairs. I turned the lights out when I took his hot chocolate down.
When we left Michigan in mid-October, several plants in the garden were still blooming and it seemed wrong to cut them down. When we returned last Tuesday, I was afraid there wouldn’t be any color left but I was excited to see a few trees with deep red leaves and new colors had emerged in the garden as the weather turned from warm Fall to frosty Winter.
I did some garden clean-up. It felt good to pull out the last of the annuals, deciding not to collect marigold seeds, and to cut back the dead growth of the last perennials. It always feels like I’m tucking my beloved flowers in for the winter. It isn’t sad because most of them have sent up little green sprouts as a promise of new growth in the Spring. And the sedumns that I planted in the small, dry bed between the drive and sidewalk and have volunteered around the garden are so hardy that they stay green long into winter.
I got tired and my body began to ache so I sat myself down on a turned over pail. I smiled one of those memory smiles. I smiled because it wouldn’t be this time of year, the start of our holiday season, if I couldn’t feel the cold, but gentle breeze on my face and through my clothing. I close my eyes and listen to the sound of a mower down the street but it sounds so far away – muted. It seems everything becomes quieter when the temperatures drop. I draw within myself, not in a bad way but in a way that nurtures my introverted spirit. As I sit in the chill, smelling the freshness of almost freezing air, and hear the sounds of silence, I feel a comfort that tells me that all is well in this moment.
JB says he will do a quick first time over with the mower and some hot chocolate would taste good. Before I go in I take a few more photos of the color that is still in my late fall/early winter garden. Maybe I’m trying to hold on to this moment in time, because it’s not this time of year without… these rich fall colors and a nippy cold nose.
This moment in time was created in response to Nancy’s prompt “It’s Not This Time of Year Without…” at The Daily Post, a part of WordPress support for bloggers.