The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We are haunted by leaves at this time of year.  They are simply everywhere.  Some leaves are still on the trees, because two of our oaks are the sort which drop their leaves one by one until the last one falls as the new buds push it off at the beginning of spring, but some leaves have been forced to leave the trees because of winds; on windy days it is literally a rain of leaves everywhere around us. 

Our front lawn and back garden are covered with leaves, although we’ve already mounted two thorough rakings, and particularly the leaves accumulate at our front door and on the terrace at the entrance to the garden room.

Those leaves which are piled at the doors follow us in.  They come in unbeknownst on our shoes, they cling to the fur of our beloved cat, they blow into the garden room where we leave the door a cat-width open, to allow Max to come and go.  Max doesn’t go far, just to the nearest neighbors to inspect what he must regard as his domain, but he seems to want and need that freedom to go out when the whim dictates.  A very cat attitude.   So we must allow that door slightly open, and the leaves seem to always find the opening.

We actually like the leaves, for the most part.  When the leaves turn colors, a branch is as lovely as any bouquet of flowers.  Where leaves land in the flower beds, they give kind  shelter to tender plants when the temperatures drop, and occasionally one finds a leaf that has dropped but still has brilliant colorings and is quite a work of art in itself.  And we like the sense of drama when the leaves fall in showers because a breeze suddenly accelerates.    Finally, we like the leaves for what they become when they are chopped and piled and left to metamorphosis into lovely mulch and eventually good garden earth. 

But nevertheless there are times when we feel a very strong wish that a very strong north  wind would come along, and take those leaves south.

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