For the things we love

I love fall. The leaves turning, the brisk mornings, all the change in the air put a zing in my nervous system. The leaves especially – every day the neighborhood, the drive to work are different in dramatic ways. I didn’t grow up with this – in the Bay Area, where summer often feels like winter and the nicest and warmest months are often April and September, trees get confused, randomly turning and dropping leaves at any time of the year. I once had a tree drop its leaves in March, when everything else was starting to bud.

Fall in Minnesota is heavenly, but after hauling 58 huge bags of leaves to dump on the compost heap in the city yard already, I was appalled to look out the kitchen window this morning and see how tall are the piles that my wife blew up against the back fence yesterday while the kids and I were clearing off the front. Ugh. So much for relaxing on a Sunday.

But this is how it is with the things we love most, isn’t it? All the work doesn’t diminish how much I love the season. In fact, maybe all the work is part of where the love grows from. Work becomes ritual and then something looked forward to. I love raking leaves, even on the days where there is so much there won’t be time to make huge jumping piles for the kids to leap into.

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