A Lesson in the Leaves


Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day.

It was one of those crisp fall days where the sun was bright and the sky a piercing blue.  It was the type of day you want to sit back, relax and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

But NO!

Typically it goes something like this.

You stand outside with your head raised toward the blue heavens drinking in the beauty.   Your face tingles with that unique combination that only comes in the Spring and Fall – the simultaneous sense of warmth from the sun and crisp coolness of the air.

This ritual continues as your eyes float across the horizon absorbing the beauty.   But eventually, the eyes begin to settle and drift down to the reality of the moment… LEAVES.  Lots and lots of leaves.

The problem with a day like I described is that all is well as long as you look up and around… not down.

Frankly, I wasn’t in the mood to do the leaves.  But I’m glad I did.  I had one of those special life insights that serendipitously capture you… but only if you are open to be captured by the moment.

My plan, I’m embarrassed to say, was to do just enough.  My rationale was that more leaves would fall so why put forth the effort.

So I dutifully gathered my tools and began raking the areas where the leaves were most obvious to the passers by.  This worked pretty well and I was pleased that it was looking pretty good without much effort.

But I made a fatal error (or in reality a blessing in disguise).  At the edge of the easy open areas were some plants and bushes.  I thought that I would quickly extract a few of the leaves from around the edges.

Side Note: No, I haven’t gotten to the special life insight yet.  Patience, patience, I’m still workin on the leaves.  I’ll get to it shortly.


Well, I found that raking around the bushes is similar to touch-up painting.  You do a little touch-up and the surroundings looks so crappy you end up painting the entire room.

After I saw how good it looked I kind of wanted to kick some leaves back under the bush, but I knew that wasn’t an option.

Then the point of decision… continue or stop – do it half-assed or do it right.  I knew that if I did do it right it meant that I needed to do around the sides and back of the house.

The day was nice and I was kind of in a rhythm so I decided to go for it (And the crowd goes wild!).

The Life Insight (finally… I thought he would never get to it)

After I made the decision and well into the project I noticed that I was feeling pretty good about myself.  It was a nice feeling.

Then it hit me… there is a big difference between making yourself feel good and feeling good about yourself.

Side Note: I can see and hear you now.  People reading the last sentence fell into one of three groups, each with a different grunt.  It was either a, Huh? Duh! or Humm….


Now this insight wasn’t totally new news to me.  Like most meaningful insights they have a way of poking around the edges of awareness for a long time but something happens to crystallize a different or deeper dimension.

Think about it.  Natural human default is making the body feel good… sit and take it easy… it can wait… have another helping of potatoes… don’t strain yourself… buy it now.

If you look at the things in life where you feel the best about yourself, it always means that somewhere along the line you had to do things that didn’t make you feel good in the moment.

The cost for feeling good about yourself is not making yourself feel good.

I hope the blog elicited a Humm of consideration and not a huh? or a duh!

Ciao… see you Thursday.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment