I spent the morning raking leaves. It was both a profoundly sensory and a profoundly spiritual experience.
As I scooped countless armfuls into the tarp and hauled them off to the compost heap, I reflected on the glory of nature and the cycle of life.
The crunch of the dessicated leaves, the sound of the wind through the bare branches above, the wonderful, peaty smell of each load, the springy feel of each armful, the myriad colours all around me... all reminded me of the priceless gift of the senses. I was grateful for the ability to twist and bend and reach and tug, to work productively in the fresh autumn air, to play my part in the cycle of the seasons.
The fallen leaves nourish the soil, supporting new life in the spring. I thought of the generations before me, the sacrifices they made for their progeny. I wondered about my role, the debt I owe to the next generation, what I could do to support the young. Deep thoughts of death and resurrection, of sacrifice and redemption, of giving and using and growing anew, both challenged and comforted me.
A season which many consider the end of things is, in fact, the beginning. All around me trees were shedding leaves which no longer served them in preparation for producing the fresh greenery of spring... plants were dropping their seeds to the ground, where they would rest through the winter before pushing new life up, up, up at the bidding of the sun and the rain.
I stood in the midst of a hive of holy activity, and I gloried in the experience.
God is everywhere, and it was a source of great joy to meet Him with my work gloves on, a rake in my hand.