I mean … wtf with this week?
It’s prime leaf viewing season. I never heard the term leaf peeping until this year and I think it’s pretty stupid. The leafs aren’t peeping because they don’t have eyes. We aren’t peeping at the leaves because THERE THEY ARE IN TREES. There’s no peeping. It’s just another gerund to make us crazy like ‘journaling’ and I’m not okay with it.
Growing up in Pittsburgh in the 70s and 80s, we did not go looking for leaves. We raked them in our back and front yard. We kicked through piles on street corners walking to the school bus. We tromped over them in band rehearsal. We ran through them in the woods behind our house. We oohed and aahed over scenic bits during our regular travels.
They sure were pretty, but never once did we drive intentionally to look at leaves.
Now I do it every year. Our Northside street used to be festooned with gorgeous trees, but they’ve all been slaughtered to accommodate utilities. Our backyard tree doesn’t change, just letting loose a green and brown canopy seemingly at once. We do own a rake, but typically our final lawn cutting grinds up these fallen angels to mulch the grass for the next year.
So we jump in the car, pick a state route and drive as long as we like. Or until we find a Bob Evans or Starbucks. This year, we are heading to Cook’s Forest.
I do remember how the leaves of my childhood became a PITA, blocking sewers until they became masses of mushy fading glories. The leaves deceived us about the surety of our footing, disguising potholes pooling with rain water and piles of dog deposits and occasionally a grouchy living critter. The colors became muted into that drab dried out brown that lingered through the early snowy months, sometimes holding out until new buds emerged (peeped?) in early springs.
I do like our little road trips. Laura usually drives, while I navigate. We listen to music or a podcast. We talk about raking leaves as a kid. We feel nostalgic and grounded in the unceasung cycle of life at the same time.
Then we’ll order sushi and watch a PBS limited series about journalism.
Hope your weekend is more cycle of life than nostalgia.
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