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One Woman’s Treasure

Leaves. They’re pretty coming in, lovely on their way out, and beautiful (to some) on the ground. When I was a young girl, I boxed some up in the fall and brought them into the basement, to keep them out of the cold. I suppose we all love leaves to varying degrees.

My neighbors across the street hired a guy to clean up the leaves from their impressive pin oak. There was a leaf blower and there were many young girls with big rakes working away. (I hope he paid them.) Then the blue tarp was brought out and the gate of the pickup truck was lowered. I looked over wondering . . . wanting . . . hesitating . . . yearning . . .

I finally called out, “Excuse me?” They stopped their work. I walked over and said, “Do you think you could bring those leaves over here?” The man in charge gave me such a look. “You–want–the leaves.” I said yes. I’d recently torn out all the giant weeds and vines on the east side of my house, which I’ve done before, only to have them return. Even after dosing them with (shh) RoundUp, back they came. Thorny things, big giant tall things, all manner of vines, etc., all kinds of things! I, however, envision a variety of lovely bushy hydrangeas over there. Perfect spot and all, I’m guessing, though I am not actually a gardener.

I only ever garden as absolutely necessary, when I just can’t bear the look of my yard another moment. Most often, my gardener-ish behavior consists of pulling things out and chopping things down. Thus, for me, gardening is not in any way relaxing. I’d consulted another neighbor about my plan for this area and was given the go-ahead to chop it all down, pull up what I could (not much), cover the whole area with cardboard and then pile lots of leaves on top. Then, in the spring (I think?) put down dirt, compost, the lovely plants I want and lots of mulch. Or else hire the dreamy-eyed gardener I long for to do it.

So I’ve collected cardboard and hauled some big rocks (from a previous hare-brained project) over there. Now I need leaves, lots and lots of leaves. Right? Even though just last year I was bagging them up in a grumbly way, since most of them came from that pin oak and another neighbor’s tree. But here’s a guy across the street with a big tarp full of leaves, so why not? I offered to pay him but he said I’d be saving him a trip to the compost site. Yes. But that look! That look said, “Lady, you are crazy!”

Just goes to show how, as “they” say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. So many of the things “they” say turn out to be true, don’t you think? Without research or clinical trials or empirical studies.

“Lovely flowers have been known to grow out of trash heaps.” – Elizabeth Kata

“The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty! Try to be more like the ground.”― Rumi

“Life: composted lessons for our hearts to blossom into our souls.”― Soul Dancer, Pay Me What I’m Worth

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

1 thought on “One Woman’s Treasure

  1. Kay you are really marvelous!! I feel lucky just to have met you. I got a kick out of picturing the leaf guy saying, “You want the leaves?” Keep enriching the world with your attitude and your writings.

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