I love leaves! I love them in the spring when they're new and green. I love them all summer when they offer shade on a hot day. I especially love them in the fall when they turn yellow, orange, red, and brown. I love when they go dancing down the street in swirls, and make a satisfying crunch underfoot.
I love to rake leaves, too. We compost them behind our garage. A massive pile in the fall gets rained on and snowed on, and by spring, is just a little mound waiting to become useful garden soil.
When I was a child we had a big stone wall along the hill in the side yard, which extended into the neighbors yard as well. The wall was part of FDR's work program during the Depression, and we kids had more fun than you can imagine. It was built into a hill, and was wide, 12-15 inches across and ranging from about 5 feet high at the lowest point to maybe 10 feet high at the highest point. It had steps 6-8 feet apart, making it interesting for games of all sorts. In the summer we sat on it, dangling our legs over the side, and sometimes daringly jumping off. We walked along the edge, pretending we were circus performers on the tightrope.
The best fun of all was leaf raking season. We gathered all the leaves from the yard and made a big pile at the bottom of the wall. We leaped off - swoop - into the pile, then climbed back up and did it all over again. An afternoon of five or six kids doing that left the leaves in crumbs, and kids covered in leaves from head to toe. Great memories!
Sometimes we drive by that house and yard with so many of my childhood memories. The wall is still there, and we even got to go inside the house a few years ago. I hadn't been inside since our family moved in 1975. The community was having a garage sale, and the family who lived there participated. We went, and mentioned that I had grown up in that house. Well! The people who live there now could not have been nicer. They invited us inside and gave us a tour. They showed us the pantry door where my mom had recorded our heights as we grew up. They had refinished the door, but preserved those markings. Such kindness brought tears to my eyes.