Raking The Leaves

At this time of year the leaves fall and they don’t stop falling for weeks. When you rake the leaves and collect them and put them in the bin more fall and replace the ones you just raked. It’s the cycle of life and death and rebirth.

Leaves fall on the pathway and they cover the grass out the front and in the backyard and when you rake them out the back sometimes you accidentally rake up dog poo as well, because the dogs have to go somewhere and whenever you try to find all the poos and pick them up with the little trowel and put them in one of the dog poo spots, away from the lawn, you always miss one or two. That’s just the way it is.

And there are two ways to look at the leaves. The leaves which have fallen are the same golden, orange, fiery red leaves which look so pretty up in the branches of the trees and then look so sad when they are all gone and only the thin grey branches are left. And they look pretty too on the ground. Crunching through leaves brings back childhood memories and the variation of colour is beautiful in its own way as well. But unraked leaves are a sign of laziness and they look untidy, and this is, of course, the other view, and it looks bad when neighbours realise that you haven’t tidied up for over a week and you really ought to be ashamed. When it has rained and they go slushy that isn’t very pretty either and it’s not crunchy and brittle but rather a tired and limp look.

I used to agree more with the first view but now I agree more with the second view. You could say that I’m house proud. Or that my neighbours are judgemental. Or that my mum will kill me if I don’t keep things as clean as I can. You could say all those things, and some of them would be right. You could also say that I’ve just been given a brand new rake, by my mum, and I want to use it as much as I can. I wouldn’t say that but you can.

I think I’m actually a very clean person, very organised, and I enjoy making my life clean as well. I never knew that until I got my new rake. And my new dustpan and broom. And my new vacuum, which was mum’s but she gave it to me and made me promise to use it every day. I love to vacuum. I realise that now.

Out the front, I was sweeping the pathway. I sweep before I rake and I was using one of those witches brooms which mum says are better than the ones made of plastic. I swept footpath outside the fence, as there were leaves here too and if you don’t clean them up it looks bad. I picked up a wrapper that had been dropped on the nature strip. School kids sometimes leave rubbish as they walk to and from school past my house. And I reached into the gutter to pick up some tissues which were there, and they looked untidy, and they were wet when I touched them, and underneath them was a pale pink condom which had been probably been recently used.

I wanted to leave it, as it was a disgusting thing covered in someone else’s filth. But it was also outside my house and therefore my responsibility to clean up. I didn’t know what to do. And I couldn’t ask mum about it, could I?

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Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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