Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This is a broom.

I’m starting to think I am the only person on the planet who still owns one of these. For those of you not familiar, it’s a broom, and it is used for something we don’t see much anymore: sweeping. My idea for today’s blog came from over my neighbor’s fence - their gardener has been blasting his leaf blower for the last two hours. This takes the inspiration out of cottage inspired living.

Did you know that leaf blowers can blow as much as 200 miles per hour, depending on the model you select?? Throughout my neighborhood on any given day there are a plethora of gardeners propelling leaves and debris this way and that. Last week through the back window we saw a voluminous cloud of leaves being propelled through our fence into our flower garden! With utter disbelief we were witnessing the entire leaf inventory of my neighbor’s yard being distributed to our side. After a quick conversation with the gardener, I pulled out my hand rake and broom and went to work.

The blowers aren’t for me. I love to sweep. It is a meditative practice for me, and I come up with some of my best ideas while sweeping. You can hear birdsong while whisking the garden clippings away. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. It’s lovely. I see my neighbors and visit.

I don’t remember leaf blowers when I was growing up in the Midwest. What about the tradition of raking the yard into one big pile and jumping in? Remember It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown? It started with Charlie Brown raking a pile of leaves while Snoopy chased lone leaves to get them back into the pile. Along came Linus licking a lollipop and tripping into the pile that left his face and hands sticky from the leaves and lollipop. After this happened we saw Charlie Brown shake his fists at Linus for wrecking his pile of leaves. I really wouldn't want to see that scene scripted with a leaf blower, would you?

I know I’m not among the majority when I tell you I enjoy taking more time to do things the old fashioned way.


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