Monday, October 6, 2014

Raking Leaves

Every autumn, the leaves would change and die and fall until our yard was suffocated by the remains of spring.  I hated raking leaves, with the runny noses and the tedium of catching more in the spindles of my rake than in the pile I created. My father was so much stronger than us, doing our work three times over and vaguely resentful of the imbalance. Eventually, in middle school, we used a wheelbarrow to transfer the piles from the backyard to the street and I could do that and it was helpful and I was fine.

But as a child, after the piles were made, there were times when my father would pick us up and drop us in. We would fall, cushioned, laughing, covering ourselves underneath as if hiding in snowdrifts or under brittle blankets. We would even gently toss the dog in and gleefully wait for him to find his way out from beneath the mound.

There was something of a family in those moments, in the shared work and shared reward. Something of a togetherness and hope I only felt otherwise in the concluding moments after each of my father's rampages when he gathered us up, made halfhearted apologies and vowed "we'll all be better next time."

No comments:

Post a Comment