Raking Leaves & Completing the Task Called Life (step by step)
These days there are plenty of stories about people complaining about life, thinking life should be easier, or just giving up on being productive. These stories are also filled with tempers flaring or seeing who is the most victimized. Plus, so many excuses as to why life is hard, but little regard as to finding a solution to correct the person’s current situation. Has this world become so terrible these days, as compared to our parents or grandparents? Is the world so hopeless to live in, we might as well sit on the couch and let the wonder of life pass us?
I was thinking about such things while raking and chopping up leaves. Around my house is seven huge Pin Oak trees and four dogwood trees. Needless to say, there are many leaves on the ground in Autumn. Seems the leaves never end for three months. Yesterday, I cleaned up my front yard, only to find leaves on the ground the next evening. It looked like I did nothing in removing the leaves. So, why all this leaf talk and how does it compare to our current dismay and displeasure of our lives?
We live in a NOW society. With such a society, our expectations seem to be just as lofty. Like yesterday, my expectations today would be no leaves on the ground in front yard. Sadly, many leaves fell while I was at work. It made it look like I did nothing, like my energy was expended in vain. Was it though? I guess you could look and see as if I did nothing. Still, if I had done nothing, the leaves would have been twice as hard to remove today. We, as a society, are so focused on quick and thorough results, we miss so often the small picture. Then, we want fast results, and anything less is as if we have failed. Lastly, we look at others and see their lawn with maybe a leaf on it and think, why can I not have that now? Envy is also at play here.
We ponder how to remove the “leaves” in our life, and how to remove them fast, with the least amount of effort. Sometimes the long way gets the best results. Now, I did not rake all the leaves up, added them in plastic bags, and then put the bags at the curb. Rather I raked the corners and used my bagging mower to suck up the leaves and then dump them in a garbage can. Sometimes we become so focused on a certain result and how to reach a goal, we miss the task at hand completely. I could have thought of how to vacuum up the leaves, compare prices with companies to do the work, or save and buy better equipment. I went out with what I had and tackled those leaves, even if it meant that tomorrow my work would have seemed in vain because so many leaves fell after I completed the task. The good news is that there will be a stopping point, when all the leaves have fallen. Now I could have waited till they all fell, but the work would be rough and grass could have died. So I press on!
Another beauty of removing leaves is the process itself gives you time to ponder life. The activity energizes your body while the pondering energizes your mind. You have the ability to think about your upcoming week or day while you push the mower or rake the leaves. You have a chance to meditate or pray while you remove the leaves, sometimes that alone is beneficial. You can meditate\pray on the couch too, but energizing your body with your mind makes it that more meaningful. Plus you have the satisfaction of completing a task, a chance to exercise discipline and calorie burning too.
You could hire someone, get depressed the leaves fall every autumn, save up for a riding mower, or just think about the task of removing those leaves, but you could use what you have and tackle the project.
Sometimes when life gets too tough in our mind, or a task becomes so daunting, we just need to rake the leaves and see if completing such a task may help us gain insight into our future, whether immediate or long term.