My hands bear the blisters of bagging 14 trash bags of soggy leaves the other day in my yard. It was a three-hour adventure in temperatures that might have reached 30 degrees. The sky was deceptively blue, and my ears were filled with tunes from the iPOD. It was a great time to get lost in my thoughts, in my prayers, in my plans.
The leaves were endless, like scooping tear drops out of the ocean. They seemed to be multiplying. I raked, I scooped, they spread. They mocked. I scooped. They spread. After 14 bags, even after that, remnants remained sprawled on the ground, like scattered soldiers from a unit determined to reunite at another time, another place.
I glanced up at the dead, cracked branches that were once so full of color. In the spring they would give new life again, and for a season all would be vibrant and full of growth and the enduring hope that pours into summer. Then in the fall they will descend back to the earth, and I will gather them again only to once again await the emergence of their offspring.