Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thus it has been, and thus it shall be.

On Wednesday I mulched the autumn leaves that had fallen in our yard into the grass that had lain dormant for most of our rain-free summer but which now – with cooler weather and one or two decent storms – is sprouting healthy, green blades skyward as if the first warmth of spring had just arrived.

Mulching is good for the fescue – our organic lawn-care company specifically commands us to do so.   And it is good for me  – it gets my arms, legs and heart working and burns about 400 calories according to one Internet calculator.  It is, however, probably not great for the ozone layer.

On Thursday a thick, new layer of leaves covered my formerly good-as-new work area.

On Friday another coating, equally dense, buried that stratum and created an ankle-deep collection of crisp, dead vegetation.

Our town collects leaves that have been piled on the sidewalk snow-shelves – sucking them up with a long-hosed vacuum truck that reminds me of the Sesame Street Snuffleupagus character.  The first of two collections on our street was scheduled for next week so Mars and I raked our contribution into position over the weekend.  This took several hours of manual labor on both of our parts.

 (I’d like to be able to say that after careful mathematical computations I had determined that the rake was better for our carbon footprint than running the Toro “Recycler”, but the truth is that the compostable matter was just too damn thick to mulch.)


Leaves are still falling from our trees and blowing into our yard so it is likely that the lawn will need to be re-raked, at least partially, every day until the big sucking truck comes and gets them.   And then we will go thought the whole thing again before the second coming of the Snuff-ster.

Thus it has been for years and thus it shall be.

The French philosopher Albert Camus’ book  “The Myth of Sisyphus” is based around the Greek story of a man condemned to spend eternity performing the meaningless task of pushing a heavy rock to the top of a hill only to have it roll right back down to the bottom – and having to begin all over again.

The legend is meant to be a metaphor for what great thinkers sometimes call the ”Human Condition.”  Camus claims that once Sisyphus acknowledges the futility of his task, and the absurdity of his situation he will reach a state of contented acceptance – concluding, "all is well."   He concludes, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

Those of us who have made the existential choice to do our own gardening and landscaping do not really need a Greek allegory to explain that to us.

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