It’s fall – the glorious season of dancing leaves.
Here the days can be sun-kissed and balmy, yet when darkness descends, the air turns chill and sometimes downright frosty.
Colorful hues of red, orange, and yellow clothe the wooded hillsides and a distinct nutty fragrance permeates the air.
Autumn or fall, whichever you choose to name it, is my very favorite season of the year.
Just the other day, I visited my sister at her house and we nestled ourselves at her kitchen table to chat. A large window allows sunlight to warm that part of her kitchen and also gives a wide-spread view of her back yard, which is surrounded by woods on all sides.
As we conversed, I faced the window and felt as though I were seated in a theater watching a first-rate performance – The Leaf Ballet. As various colored leaves steadily fell from the trees bordering my sister’s yard, a gentle wind gust lifted each leaf into the air.
Buoyed by the breeze, the leaf would flit and flutter, glide and swirl, dancing here then there. It would rise upwards and float along, then suddenly plummet towards earth, twirling and whirling all the way.
It proved difficult to just watch one leaf as there was an entire troupe of dancers performing across the back yard stage, an ongoing production of pirouettes and glissades. Of course, the end result will be bare-branched trees which have shed their brilliant costumes and a multitude of leaves enveloping the yard.
And that presents a problem. What to do with them all? Some folks rake, load the leaf piles into garbage bags and dispose of them; others rake them up and burn them. Some use the discarded leaves in their compost piles. While others resort to another method.
On my way to my sister’s home that day, I noticed a man with a leaf blower sending blasts of fallen leaves to the side of the road in front of his house. He definitely had a multitude of fallen leaves coating his yard. The ballet was nearly over there. His solution was to just push them aside with the leaf blower – send them to the outskirts of his yard, including the country road in front of his house.
The drawback to this idea soon became apparent. In front of me was a behemoth dump truck traveling fairly fast. When the truck passed by the piles of leaves that man had relegated to the side of the road, it created a whirlwind effect and all of those tired ballet dancers jumped back up again into the air for an encore with renewed vigor and danced with all of their might…right back into the man’s yard.
As I passed by, I couldn’t help but notice his disturbed and exasperated face, and I thought, “Really? What did he expect would happen?” It seemed pretty foolish to me to be blowing all the leaves towards the road when traffic would just be sending it back to you.
And then it occurred to me. Isn’t that what we do with many of life’s problems? We blow them away hoping they will stay away. We push them aside. Try to burden someone else with them. Relegate them to the side of the road and turn our backs.
But problems are just like those dancing leaves. One blast can resurrect them again. They can get blown right back in our faces.
That’s why it’s best to just face our problems head on and deal with them. Not just blow them off, but figure out a solution that works best.
No wonder fall is my favorite season. Even the ballet of leaves teaches me a valuable lesson.
“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” ~ Henry Ford