It’s autumn where I live. The forest trees are coloring up and the leaves are falling. Fall days are impossibly bright with golden sunshine, but the breeze is fresh and there’s a nippy feeling around dusk that says: winter is coming.
When the leaves fall, people with lawns want to rake them up. Burn them or bag them, but the leaves gotta go. It’s better for your lawn health to let them rot where they fall, to fertilize the grass. But no lawn-proud person does that. We love our clean green lawns! So: we rake.
Then, too, there’s official endorsement for raking leaves. It comes from the highest levels of our government. The president of the United States was just live on national television to blame the State Of California for the apocalyptic wildfires that have burned over so much land this year.
Global warming? No. Drought, wind, and high temperatures? No. The burning cataclysm is the fault, says the very stable genius, of bad forest management. Specifically, failure to rake the leaves — on thirty three million acres of forest. That’s more than 13,000,000 hectares. 51,000 square miles. 133,000 square kilometers. However you measure it, that’s a ton of raking! We’re all going to have to get busy! Our shoulders and arms are going to be so buff.
But the sun is still warm, and the days are getting shorter. We all need sunshine on our skin. And there’s no time for sunbathing when we’re always busy raking. But it’s the only way to get enough Vitamin D. What do we do? Luckily, the solution is obvious: naked yardwork!
Once you’ve raked up your leaves into nice big fluffy crunchy piles, or blown them together with a leaf blower, it’s important to take time to play in them. Puppies and small children have shown us the way. Bury yourself in leaves, throw them high in the air, laugh as they cascade down over your head, your face, and your naked skin. Bathe in them, make them crunch, and enjoy them! It would be a waste of leaves if you didn’t.
Leaf blowers don’t get enough respect in all of this. They’ve had a good summer in the USA, where summer is usually their off season. When the Wall of Moms (#Momtifa) showed up in downtown Portland to protest police brutality and got heavily attacked with teargas, the next night (and for weeks thereafter) they were backed by a line of suburban dads with leaf blowers, pushing the choking gas cloud back into the faces of the anonymous cops who launched it. But the best use of the leaf blower is not popular protest. It’s shoving around big piles of leaves, moving them from where they fell to where you want them. In my experience the big heavy backpack models are handiest at the edge of the yard (where you can just blow the leaves into the woods). They’re not awesome for nudists because the pack straps mess up your whole-body tan. But even a partial tan is much better than no tan at all:
Is the sun shining in your yard? Are there leaves on your lawn? Now you know what to do!