I had a boyfriend once who refused to kick piles of autumn leaves.
Every time I did it, he would do that thing where you draw your breath in sharply between your teeth.
‘What’s the matter?’ I would say, foot mid air, ready to send a heap of red and gold leaves flying across the path.
‘You shouldn’t kick the leaves like that,’ he would reply. ‘You never know what might be under them. You’ll probably end up kicking dog shit.’
It took the edge of my autumnal fun, that’s for sure.
It made me sad too, because as an attitude to life, what even is this??
Are you meant to go through every autumn eyeing piles of fallen leaves distrustfully, just in case they are hiding some stinky secret? Expand the metaphor and he was basically saying that we should never do anything we’re not 100% sure about just in case we accidentally get covered in the proverbial poop.
Now I don’t know about you, but that’s really NOT how I want to live. I’d much rather kick the leaves and risk it. What’s the worse that could happen? You have to clean your boots when you get home maybe. So what?
On the flip side, what if there is TREASURE hidden under the leaves? Something beautiful and precious that makes your eyes sparkle and your heart sing? What if you miss out on something amazing because you’re too scared to take the chance?
Kick the autumn leaves I say.
Pick them up with your bare hands and throw them above your head in a massive, beautiful shit storm of leaves. Hell, lie down in them if you want do, so long as you do something.
Avoiding the leaves is no way to live.