Thursday, December 3, 2009

The last leaf has fallen.....

Now that the last leaf has fallen...autumn is officially over. There's a tinge of sadness in me as I have really fallen in love with fall...of all the beauty it brings in those red yellow leaves. Or perhaps what I love more is the romantic notion that this powerful and demonstrative...yet extremely shortlived.

When I first arrived in the states, a stranger had told me this "you never truly lived if you've not lived through four seasons". I couldn't understand it at first....but after going through the change from summer to fall...and now fall to winter....I'm beginning to see the wisdom in her words.

The piece of land that our house sits on is about 0.5 acres...which is 2,023sqm. To put this in better's 37 times the size of my 3-room flat in Singapore. And that's how big a place I need to rake to remove all of the fallen leaves!

Many homeowners would engage professional leaf rakers or use a leaf-blowing machine but I decided to do it the traditional way all by myself. It was fun for the first 15min....but my arms and back began to ache after a short while. Of course I didn't rake the entire 0.5acres of land in a single day....I divided the area up and tackled one small parcel at a day.

My first leaf-raking experience wasn't great and I was complaining about it on twitter. A friend then replied saying that leaf-raking is supposed to be a zen experience. While I do not know what exactly constitutes a zen experience....I was determined to not feel miserable. So I told myself in my 2nd day of raking to not think about the mundanity of the task...and to block out the soreness in my arms and back.

At first, I distracted myself by focusing on how cool and crisp the morning air was, how green the grass looked beneath the pile of fallen leaves, how every push and pull of my rake carrying hand made a clear leafless path - it was as if I was painting with a giant brush on a piece of green canvas....then unknowingly, I began to enjoy my raking experience as I worked myself into a sweat in a below 10 deg celsius environment. And while my entire body still ached after each session...I no longer dread leaf raking.

Yesterday, I had raked the last of the fallen leaves and the feeling was amazingly good. Then I bid goodbye to my trusty rake..."til next year" I said.

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