Today my front yard looks like an autumn landscape …. not on a postcard but on a sale paper for leaf blowers and rakes. I prefer to think of it as an advertisement for autumn, my favorite season. Yellow leaves still cling to the silver maple, but the red maple’s leaves are mostly on the ground. The already brown dogwood leaves are strewn about the yard. The ornamental pears are about half red and half green at this point, but I parked under one of them yesterday and returned this morning to find my car covered with bright leaves. Mostly though, big sycamore leaves coat the yard. Almost every brown leaf is bigger than my hand, and the wind has worked diligently to spread them all over the whole place.
All over town I’ve seen people raking their leaves, but you won’t see me with a rake in my hand. I like those leaves. I like the way they look, and they also provide a blanket for some of my more delicate plants. Besides, when Jack Frost brings the winter winds to push Fall away, those winds will carry away most of the leaves. The ones that remain to rot will enrich the soil for next year’s gardens. If by some rare chance the leaves are still here in the spring, then I’ll get them with the lawn mower. You can bet I’ll not be raking them.
The seasons have finally changed, for which I am truly grateful. But the rain situation is still dire. That hasn’t changed much at all. As I sit at the computer looking out the window at the sprinkler, I wish for fat rain drops on my window instead of a few drops of sprinkler water. No clouds darken the blue skies, and my heart is heavy. I thirst for rain. I’m dry, brittle, withered. I need about a week or two of rain, steady, soaking water to refresh the earth and me. How I’d enjoy the soothing spattering of raindrops against the roof and my bed room window as I sprawl on the bed with some book. The rain would sing me to sleep long before I finished my book, but I’d gladly wake to it after my nap.
Every day I pray for rain. When I turn on the Weather Channel, I sit and gaze at the brown colors of a drought-stricken Georgia. My sister told me that she read somewhere that this area will be a desert in the next century. I scoffed, of course, but I’m wondering as we continue to move from one dry day to the next.
Yet even as I long for rain, I am thankful for so much. As Thanksgiving approaches, I anticipate the laughter of raucous little boys in the house again. Legos and crayons will cover the table until we clear them away to serve the traditional turkey and dressing feast with cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. We’ll have all the fixin’s—corn from the summer bounty, squash casserole, sweet potato and pumpkin pies, and a big bowl of mustard greens and hot iron skillet cornbread. There’ll be the usual macaroni and cheese and yeast rolls, too. Other dishes will mysteriously appear as well, but I can’t tamper much with the traditional menu. My family would not approve. I am truly thankful for my family and look forward to having them all home for a few days as we pause in the usual race that is life. On Friday everyone will dash back to his activities, but until then, Larry and I will relish having every single one of them under our roof again. What a blessing.
I wish for each of you a Happy Thanksgiving with your families. Let us pause to give thanks before we scuttle into Black Friday and the madness that precedes Christmas.