In preparation for the rain that was supposed to come at 1:00pm today (it's 12:45 pm now and the sky is clear from any hint of clouds), I spent most of the morning raking and collecting all the leaves in the backyard. And as I moved the leaves with my walis tingting to make a big pile on the lawn I remembered a time when I wished we had mature trees so that we can have more leaves in the fall.
Yes there was a time when I had to collect every leaf to add to a small pile that we had. The kids would run and jump up and down and roll on it. And then they would stop so that I could collect the leaves again into the small pile that they started with. There was a year when we bagged the leaves so that we would wait for more leaves to fall and then dumping them back on to the lawn together to create a more substantial pile. It was both painful and delightful to watch them.
Soon a time would come when we had enough leaves. The three ornamental pears that flanks our driveway produced so many colorful leaves every year. It was a beautiful time. But then they were big enough so that we asked them to help bag the leaves - which to them was not that beautiful.
All the trees we have planted in our once upon-a-time-barren yard are mature now. Along with that, my children have grown up - two of the three are not living at home any more. The leaves are merely leaves that need to be collected now. None of the noise and laughter around the leaves are no longer there. And I am reminded of the lyrics of a song from the album War of the Worlds, "The autumn leaves lie undisturbed now, 'cause you're not here." I miss the days when my children were always together around me.
And as I worked against the wind in an attempt to collect every falling leaf before I called it a day, somehow I thought that young families when they decided to buy a place must choose something with a yard where the trees are already mature. We had it right when we bought our first house in Fremont but we blew it when we moved to El Dorado Hills. Either way, sweet memories were made.