Friday, December 10, 2010
"Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By & by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie..."
- G. M. Hopkins
My shady past is not so shady any more. The eight large trees on my lot have dropped almost all their leaves, and there are days when sunlight brightens every corner. But it seems, now that illumination doesn't require much effort, the Sun has gone lazy. Most days here at the beginning of winter are gray, the sky off-white and darkening toward the corners, and leaves lie about in disorderly piles, much like the dead at Waterloo.
Waterloo was a long time ago. It does not oppress me now. But leaves do, for soon I must rake them up, bag them, and argue with the garbagemen about going 20 bags or so over my weekly allowance.
I tell them to blame God. I had nothing to do with it. Leaves fall from heaven, like manna. If they don't pick them up from me now, then they'll pick them up later. If I let them just blow, they'll be picking them up from my irritated neighbor, or someone further down the street. It is fate. I urge them to accept the gravity of the situation. It's only once a year.
Some years they have taken that argument in good humor. Some years they leave the pile of bags at the curb, diminishing it only by the miserly allottment of 5 bags a week.
Such are the trials of living in a stick house. If you are lucky enough to be living on the road, I advise you to stay there. Let the wind do your raking with a clear conscience.
I've worked up a couple of excuses to leave them lie. I'm industrious that way. I've had another cancer cut from my left hand, and the wound is still in stitches. Don't want to stretch that into a monumental scar, right? Another surgery, on my right hand, is scheduled for the 22nd. Soon I will have more stitches than Raggedy Andy. Perhaps even enough to keep you in stitches. And then there's this sinus infection I have only narrowly escaped, and still may succumb to. No point in testing it with all that leaf mold and dust up my nose.
I should really move all this unfortunate ambition into the New Year, where Resolutions belong. There, I'm convinced. Where there is life there is procrastination. Best to leaf it for another week, and work instead on developing a decent pun for the holidays.
In other news, Mike is back in Rehab. The infection that laid him low last Sunday has succumbed to the miracle of antibiotics. Deo gratias. He is still seeing two or three of everything, and is fed through a hole in his stomach, but he seems relieved to be back.
He even asked me to give him a haircut this weekend. Now there's a guy with a healthy sense of humor.
Posted by Bob Giddings at 8:12 AM