Lessons Learned Raking Leaves

My lawn has been abandoned and neglected lately. Life. It happens. It happened to us, and our yard just sat there. Waiting.

We aren’t one of those families with a lawn service arriving every week or biweekly to care for our lawn. We are the service. And we . . . well, we put the yard on the backburner.

The weather turned colder in our absence. It froze. The trees gave up their leaves a little more each and every day. Some days those leaves floated and danced to the ground. Other days the wind shook them from the trees and branches came crashing down with them. And it left . . . a mess!

Today was the day – the day to clean it up. Me against the leaves! Little did I know there would be many lessons learned as I swept and mowed and bagged.

1. Whenever the leaves start falling, start spending a little time each day cleaning up after them. A little every day is probably better than an entire day of cleaning up after them. I’ll try to be better going forward.

2. I’m thankful for leaves. Leaves mean I have trees. And I love trees. Even when they leave a mess.

3. My mower did a great job removing the majority of the leaves in my front yard. My back yard . . . well, that’s another story.

4. I don’t have a leaf blower. I should have one, but I don’t. So I sweep leaves. There’s something satisfying about sweeping leaves away and leaving a clean patio and driveway behind even if it only lasts a moment.

5. Fall equates to change. It’s how we all do life even when we don’t realize it – our lives are constantly changing.

6. As I swept away leaves I had a moment. I’m currently in a weird cycle of grief. That moment where emotions come and you really can’t determine what triggered them. Today, I got choked up sweeping leaves. I don’t know why. I have no connection to leaves and Michael, but there I was pushing back the tears as I mourned his death once again. I asked God why people had to die of cancer. His reply was profound – “Every life teaches lessons.” Michael’s life did. It left me wondering what lessons I’m teaching those who know me.

7. I’m thankful I am able to mow and sweep leaves and bag them up. Five years ago, I wasn’t sure this day would ever come. I didn’t know if I’d be alive much less owning a home with trees to clean up after. It’s a great blessing to clean up after leaves.

8. Leaves are all different. Some are similar in appearance but upon closer inspection they are all very different. A lot like people. Isn’t it amazing how everything needs to be different in order to be so beautiful. Imagine a world where every leaf was alike. Fall wouldn’t be as gorgeous if they all turned the same shade of yellow before they fell to the ground. It’s the variety that creates the beauty. I’m thankful we are all different. I wish more people embraced our differences and celebrated them without putting us all in boxes just to show we are differently the same. Why can’t we just be okay with being unique?

9. My husband just had heart surgery. He would walk out every hour or so to check on me. It was his little way of saying, “I love you.” It was sweet.

10. With the changing of time comes a little pain, a little beauty, and a whole lot of work so new life can emerge.

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