I can always tell exactly when it is late September to mid November in Toronto, the season is defined by one thing and one thing only. No it is not the delicious taste of pumpkin spice everything, (PUMPKIN?! Yes I too was mesmerized at first by the strange North American tradition of using a VEGETABLE as a sweet ingredient…but one bite of Pumpkin Pie and one sip of a PSL and what can I say? I’m a convert). No it is not the fat sluggish squirrels and their cute but unfriendly Racoon and Skunk pals.

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If you guessed “leaves changing” you’d be on the right track, but no. Rather than the stunning leaves themselves, falling gracefully from the tree and sending our Shiba Inu Ninja into an apoplectic heaving frenzy…

No. The period of “fall” for me is defined by the asshole-clenching, stress inducing, jarring sound of leaf-blowing.

I haven’t yet figured out why this ritual must occur daily at 7am, I can only assume it is to get a pounce on the leaves before they wake up…

As I lay in near darkness, sadly hacking up a lung (thank you flu season) my mind wandered and the issue of leaf blowing seemed to grow to encompass so much more. To work as an analogy for bigger issues in life. How much cough syrup have I had??!

What is the point of blowing leaves? Is there some kind of health and/or road maintenance concern I am unaware of? It seems to me that it is time consuming, noisy, and futile…tomorrow there are going to be more leaves, maybe even more than today! And the wind is actively working against you to blow the leaves back in your face. Isn’t there a better use of time and sounds in the world?

Is the leaf blower more or less effective than the traditional rake?

This got me to thinking about other futile repetitive activities we engage in as a human race. I’m not talking about shovelling drive-ways in snow storms (so you only have to do half as much shovelling later… you’re still out in the freezing cold), I’m thinking broader in a sense of life.

There are so many things that we do that we know are an utter waste of time, but we do them anyway because everyone else is doing it and it’s just that “time”. I’d love it if just one gardner around here would be like “this is fucking stupid. I’ll do this once a week rather than once a day”. Walk his own (leaf strewn) path rather than do what was expected practise.

WHY are you blowing leaves around from there to there? Aren’t you just shifting your problems? Why not address the real issue here and just cut down all the trees? No no no, I love trees…I’m just saying it would be quieter. And there would be less irrelevant sound and maintenance at 7am.

I sometimes feel like we as a human race are so busy fixing the symptoms of modern life, that we are totally ignoring the root (ba-doom-tsh) of the issue. Leaves look messy, could get wet and hurt somebody so lets collect all the leaves. Okay that makes sense. Lets invent a noisy MACHINE that can just blast the leaves out of our way, that way we don’t have to bend down to rake the leaves. Thaaaat seems like a step too far.

It’s like:

Must get job. Must get car to get to job. Must work more to afford better car to get to job.

Must meet someone. Must get busy on apps to meet someone. Must get more apps to manage free time as I’m so busy meeting someone.

Must work hard for success. Must work harder for more success. Too busy to enjoy success.

Or maybe it’s just a leaf blower. I don’t know.