Awash in Leaves

A friend who attends my church is on  hospice care at home. If she is up to it, I will visit her this morning. She and her husband were among the wonderfully caring people whose emotional support was so valuable to me during the difficult last months of my late wife’s life.  Their care and support were lessons in decency and humanity. But it wasn’t just during that dark period that their characters shone so bright. They have always modeled the virtues that are so appealing in good neighbors and friends and even caring strangers. As I think about them this morning, I wonder why the kind of goodness they exemplify sometimes seems so rare. The difficulties and challenges encountered in our lives would not be so overwhelming if everyone were to follow their example. Perhaps it is not that humanity and decency is so rare, but that the breadth and strength of my friends’ caring goes so much deeper than average. Some people are so obviously and genuinely good. I am fortunate to know my friend on hospice care; she is one of them.


The heavy rains that pounded the roof a while ago have eased up, at least for a while. I can only imagine how the rain must have torn more leaves from the Bradford pear tree that overhangs part of the driveway and a front corner of the house. Yesterday, when I returned from my errands in Little Rock, the street near my house was covered in oak leaves. My driveway was buried under a thick coating of yellow and orange Bradford pear leaves. By mid afternoon, when the wet leaves had shed some of the water attaching them to the ground, I cleared the driveway by blowing leaves into the forest. I suppose that effort was not wasted, though the dim morning light reveals a heavy coating of leaves on the driveway, thanks to the rain. Until the trees are bare, leaves will periodically hide the concrete. Though I might be tempted to just wait until then to blow the leaves away, I know that would be a mistake. The leaves would be too heavy and thick and slick for my battery-powered blower to have any effect, were I to wait. So, I will continue to blow leaves, only to have a new batch waiting for me hours later. Years ago, I thought moving to the forest would eliminate the need for yard work. I was wrong.


Too many thoughts swirl in my head this morning. I cannot seem to capture many coherent thoughts; my mind is awash in chaos. So I will stop trying to write. It is pointless. Perhaps I need to let my brain settle before I try to write any more. I will give myself time to empty the frenzied conglomeration of thoughts from my head. Maybe that is what I need this morning.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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