The neighborhood has worked diligently to clean up every fallen leaf of Autumn.  Lawns neatly mowed in uniform stripes, offering green carpeted bliss house after house.  But one house stands out like a shaggy-haired hippy at a military parade.  Piles of brown oak leaves mix with maple, dogwood and a dozen other trees.  The piles blow in the wind, scattering across the street and invade the pristine lawns of the neighborhood, like chicken pox claiming a classroom.  The last holdout is mine.

Neighbors politely hold their breath, knowing we’ve been traveling.  Knowing our track record of good neighboring.  Knowing…  but wondering.  A weekend has past since we you went away.  Another weekend approaches.  Thanksgiving week is just around the corner.  When, they surely wonder, will you clean up the leaves that continue to blow onto our lawns?

Not just yet.  Though I know the time is flying.  And Pumpkin Spiced Latte has given way to Eggnog Latte.  I’m aware of the early “Black Friday” sales and the traces of Christmas music in certain retail environments.  I’ve seen the snowflakes – not the political term that diminishes fellow human beings to “them”, but the real ones drifting down to let us know they’ll be here in greater numbers soon enough.  But the leaves have their time too, and I tell you somewhat defensively but with a slight twinkle in the eye, not just yet.