The Party’s Over

Poets sing the praises of seasonal changes and quiet moments are often the theme of some better known verse. Such is the case with my favorite, Frost?s Stopping By Woods On A Winter?s Eve. And, of course, there are the numerous musical references to the seasons; Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons probably being the most well known. In the main, all romanticize the seasons and their changes and some of us, romantics that we are, go along with them.

This explains the pride I felt the other day when, after spending a solid 4 hours cleaning up the leaves from the yard, I actually stood in appreciation of my labors; admiring the brilliant green of the lawn in the late afternoon sun. As the light from the setting sun slanted across the scene, I was reminded of the garden of a stately English house. A bit over the top, I guess, but one begins to hallucinate after inhaling the exhaust fumes mixed with the dust of mulched leaves exuded by the lawn vacuum being pushed over the lawn.It was with pride, then, that I turned my back on the scene and entered the manor.

Of course, it couldn’t last, not even 24 hours. The trees insisted on continuing to drop their leaves and it was with some disappointment that I viewed the carnage of their overnight activity. The pristine scene that spread out before me on the previous evening was now a ruin; even more leaves than I had cleaned up on the previous day now littered the area. I thought, briefly, of returning to my labors but a promised nor’easter prompted me to stay my efforts. With luck, the accompanying winds would undo some of the trees? spiteful behavior. I pictured the wind sweeping the leaves from the lawn as well as those remaining on the trees and blowing them into some deserving neighbor’s yard. It was not to be. The rain that swept in on the heels of the wind plastered the leaves to the ground and the wind just was not strong enough to carry the wet leaves, ground or airborne, to anyone else’s yard.

Such inelegant happenings are not the subject of poet or composer. Poets do not sing the praises of trees that one must constantly clean up after; from spent blossoms in the spring to a consequent assortment of flying seeds or nuts which drop through the summer and fall. Composers do not include leaf blowers in their range of instruments. Well, perhaps they do. Not being a devotee of modem music, I cannot absolutely assert that someone has not written a concerto for leaf blower and lawn vacuum.

Fall ends so poorly. Like all events, fall is eagerly anticipated for its colors, the snap of the early morning air, the warm Indian Summer days which cool quickly as night shortens their span. The party is great and everyone enjoys themselves, but the clean up afterwards is hell. By November, the days shorten quickly and the colors are gone. Crickets try to hold out against the cold nights but they succumb one by one until there is silence. Winter is at the doorstep and she will hold silence until the light returns.