Raking Leaves


I work in gardens and very big yards – 5 acre yards. This week has been leaf clean-up and cutting back all the dead plants. You know those dumpsters? The big ones with two lids? We filled two of those and three trailers full of leaves, grasses, and dead echinacea in the last two days. We have had a crew of 6 or 7 and all of them except one is a man between the ages of 27 and 34. I am the other and at close to twice their age, keep up with them still. We’re all sore at night.

Yesterday, as Eliud used the blower to lift the leaves off the moss, they cascaded through the air with such trembling dancing beauty, I had to laugh out loud. The showers of yellow, orange, gold, red, pink, and green were pouring down the lush velvet hill of green. He was silhouetted by the warm fall sun as the cascade of glorious leaves fell. Without conscious effort I found myself drawn to the leaves, holding my arms above my head I walked toward the rippling translucent irridescent leaves twinkling in the air. Ah-h-h-h!! The joy! They fell all around me and raking them up was effortless.

On another subject, I find that my diet is very different when I am working outside for 8 hours rather than being around the house, running errands, etc. Hard physical labor requires so much from me that I have to eat for it. I have returned to the farm breakfast of my youth. Protein is the main component of breakfast, and dinner tends to be light. I’ll have (for instance) two eggs, bacon or sausage or cheese on top, an English muffin with honey and a glass of juice. Lunch is a sandwich (cheese, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, bacon on Oat-flax bread), two fruits, carrots, trail mix, chips, and V-8 or the like. I always carry good high protein energy bars as well. Tonight I had two chicken tenders, kale and Hyderabad Tomato Chutney. Yum!

When I am not working outside in the cold, raking leaves, my diet is very different. For breakfast I have yogurt and fruit, sometimes with a handful of granola. Lunch might be a bowl of soup or a salad; and dinner just depends on the mood. When I pay attention to the requirements of the day and my body, I never gain weight, in fact I lose it! Fascinating!

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