I Miss The Sound of the Rake

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I think the air has cleared a bit here in Southern California. My heart aches for those who have lost everything. I find it hard to imagine what it might be like to leave your home and find later, that all is gone. I suppose this is why one struggles to live in the moment. To live for this moment, this day. We hear this advice so often and yet we all know how difficult it can be. I have fleeting moments of this experience, and I must agree, it liberates the heart, allows it to soar.

This moment, I sit in the quiet. The distant conversation of late waking birds, the silence of a neighborhood in the mid-morning. Off in the distance I hear a leaf blower. When the resident arrives home with the setting of the sun, their yard will be clean and tidy. I will be the only witness to this cleansing ritual.

 A few autumn leaves tumble from their precarious perch, wafting slowly to the ground. This sound is more profound than the motorized rake. I miss the sound of the rake. The tin scrape across the crisp grass or concrete fills my head with visions of chore day. My brother and I were in charge of the yard work on Saturday morning. I would hold the large black bag as he shoveled in fragrant grass clippings and dry leaves. He always worked the lawn mower, while I raked the clippings. I miss the sound of the rake. I think I was afraid of the lawn mower. I believed my father when he told stories of rocks flinging out from the blade, ready to take an eye out. I left the dangerous work for my brother. I was willing to risk the few splinters of the weathered rake handle. No flying stones or ill-fated rocks. I protected my eyes, looked away when the mower approached me...

I can still smell the grass, the reluctance with which we approached our chores and the tin scrape of the rake. I miss the sound of the rake.


Frank said...

The sight of a gardener with what appears to be a Volkswagen engine strapped to his back also leaves me nostalgic for the good old days of the rake.