Autumn Rituals: leaves, pumpkins, candy apples, scary (true) stories

This morning, on walk with puppy Shadow, I was remembering an encounter with an old man who lived on the corner of a nearby street. He had taken all the trees out of his front yard, he said, with a smile of accomplishment. “Why?!” I asked, dumbfounded.

“Because that way I don’t have to rake the leaves.”

There was no sense talking to him about my internal response to his action. His age and habits of mind were too thickly encrusted for that. So I’ll ask you to listen instead:

My goddess, think about what trees do! Besides serving as carbon sinks via photosynthesis —

Trees: The Carbon Storage Experts

and communicating with each other underground —

— they also provide habitat for all manner of critters — insects, squirrels, birds, monkeys, vines.

Trees as Habitats

And leaves! Just look at the amount of “edge” on a single leaf!

imagesNow multiply that by thousands — millions? — of leaves on a single mature tree. Edgy to the max. Remember, at any level, in any dimension, and among and between them, the edges — where different elements, qualities, forms meet and overlap or interact — are where the action is.

Let Us Occupy Our Edges

Oh yeah, speaking of leaves. How about noticing the patterns within a single leaf as well! How beautifully nature organizes its circulatory systems . . .

In natural systems, strength in loops

In short, for those of us who do realize that only as we learn from nature will we humans head in a direction that reconnects with her, hopefully just in time to avoid extinction! — this one neighbor’s attitude is typical of those who have not yet awakened to nature’s call.

Besides, doesn’t he realize that his ever green chemicalized lawn is, let’s face it, like all monocultures, boring? Furthermore, had he been raking his leaves lately, he might have had enough physical exercise to prevent or heal whatever infirmity that eventually killed him. For he’s gone now. But that denuded lawn remains, cut to within two inches of the ground, with not even a dandelion to spoil its uncluttered folly.

But enough of this morning’s rant. Let’s get back to now, this time of year, and its rituals.

Finally, after the overnight rain, the leaves have mostly let go.

My car:


Front porch:

porchFront yard.


So I will begin to rake, this afternoon. piling the leaves on a blue tarp which I will then drag into the GANG garden to add further mulch to the beds for winter.

gardenNotice the pile of hay to the right in the picture. There’s also the remains of a wood chip pile in front of that, mostly covered with leaves. We’re going to finish distributing all these mulching materials and other prep work in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, today and tomorrow, prep for tomorrow evening’s . . .

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.39.35 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.39.49 AMPodmate Brie is taking the lead here. At least three young children will be bobbing for carmel apples (to be prepared today by one of them, plus podmate Katarina), a box of halloween costumes will be present for those who don’t have one, and Brie has asked me to lead the scary (true) story time. (Knowing just how scary my true stories can get, she’s decided to set the kids up to carve pumpkins away from the adult storytelling circle.)

Let’s see: shall I tell of the numerous occasions when some kind of dimensional shift miraculously prevented a car accident? Or the stories of being attacked by dogs following dreams of being attacked by dogs — and not just miraculously escaping, but of transforming into Kali the destroyer in order to do so? Hmmmm. Oh, and how about the time I had to — instantly, learn how to stare someone down who was threatening me with guns after being warned, upon suddenly awakening, by a quiet inner voice: Center yourself. You have one minute.

Hmmm. Not sure.

Happy Halloween! When the membrane between the dimensions thins to the point of dissolution and we are bathed, even more than usual! — in Mystery.


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0 Responses to Autumn Rituals: leaves, pumpkins, candy apples, scary (true) stories

  1. Pamela says:

    Yeah, you gotta rake those leaves!!!…what will the neighbors think? How Messy and Out-of-Control! And they will kill all that expensive poisonous grass underneath…
    Not that the leaves are the true recyclable, that they nourish the soil, adding strength to its mineral content so that Nature can continue to produce its bounty for all of us ungrateful and ignorant human beings…Sometimes, it’s just too much.

    • Bingo! And you know what? It never even occurred to me not to rake. Still conditioned by the matrix! Thanks, Pamela. On the other hand, do know that I am raking today knowing that there are still some leaves up there and that this is the only day I will rake.

  2. laurabruno says:

    Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    Happy Halloween, Ann and GANG Garden podmates! We’ll be doing our leafy, festive Samhain celebrations here in Goshen, too. InDiana’s getting some big love and community, isn’t She?!

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