Leaves Versus Man

leaves-10741_1920It wasn’t all that long ago when raking leaves was a family fun tradition. The kids would gladly help rake as long as they could partake in a few jumps. Of course this was long before we worried about what was lurking in those leaf piles like ticks and other airborne allergens.

Nowadays the kids have all aged-out of raking and jumping in the leaves, so I’m left to raking the backyard all by myself. I even attempted to entice our exchange student to experience the American fall tradition of leaf raking but that suggestion was quickly  undermined my the kids.

I began my project with the typical zest and zeal I do with most backyard activities I decided to compile a 2016 leaf raking music compilation. Of course, this took quite some time to develop but having a good soundtrack helps me get the job done.


As I stood in the backyard surrounded by the leaves at my feet I felt defeated. I recognize that leaves produce food for trees and other plants, and leaves provide a visual delight earlier in the fall, but at the end of the season, they are a nuisance. Allowing the leaves that fall to the ground and remain there for the winter all brown and dead didn’t seem to be an option.

After raking a while longer I remembered that Robert Frost had written a poem about leaves so I took a break and made a cup of tea and found the poem, “Gathering Leaves”.

Frost wrote:

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons……

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who’s to say where
The harvest shall stop?

Off to the hardware store I drove as I decided I would join the legion of backyard leaf blowers.


Phillip Potenziano

About Phillip Potenziano

In addition to blogging, Dr. Potenziano works as an Assistant Superintendent, and volunteers on the board of a southern Maine local non-profit. He is happily nestled just north of Portland, with his 3 kids, a wife and lots of projects awaiting his attention. He loves early morning runs, donuts and sometimes coffee. Two lessons he tries to remember are: "Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him" and "At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assure your success."