My hands were red and raw.
I had chosen to discard the heavy work gloves an hour ago. The autumn day was brisk, but the sun was full and heavy on our shoulders as we worked. I looked back across the freshly raked field.
The seasons were changing, and with change comes hard work.
We worked hard that season.
My red and raw hands were interlocked, draped over the rounded end of the rake handle. My chin was perched on my knuckles. By my side, my raking partner’s mannerisms were the same.
Chin on hands,
Hands on rake,
Rake on earth.
Before us lay two piles of freshly fallen autumn leaves; the product of our hard work. The piles radiated the aura of two burning bushes glowing red and orange and yellow in the glistening sun. They appeared high and mighty, as though they were ready to speak. They were ready to take command of the moment as they rustled gently in the afternoon breeze.
We were ready to listen.
My raking partner shifted to stand up straight. I didn’t know him very well, but I could sense the burdens he carried on his shoulders. They seemed heavy. And he seemed tired of fighting.
He was within his own season of change.
Our eyes met, and without an utterance of words between us, there was a deep understanding of what was about to happen. He smiled, and I nodded, and we both took off running. We were running toward our hard work, our determination, toward the change we had created for ourselves that afternoon.
We ran laughing.
We jumped laughing.
And we dove head first into those piles of leaves.
Into those piles of change.