Jumping in Leaves

We had a gorgeous, great big Maple tree outside our farmhouse that shed enough leaves in the fall for a really large pile. I wish I could revisit it sometimes but sadly, the whole farm is now a Toyota Factory. But, the human memory is an amazing thing where we get to store these childhood times and bring them up when we want.

Now what was I saying? ;) Think, think…Oh yeah…

This Maple tree also provided good shade for the lettuce in Gramma’s flowerbed. I think I have mentioned before that Gramma lived on one side of the house. The farmhouse had 20 places for children to invade (adults refer to them as ‘rooms’) but it was all over the 33 acres where we truly explored. I could write a whole book just going on and on about my farm. It was a haven for children. It’s kind of how I begin to picture heaven because children were crazy-free there. (oh which made me think of the time I wandered out the long lane and a woman picked me up and brought me back in MUCH to my Mother’s horror-don’t think that would happen these days, huh? Lol!) I laugh now…

With all the memories I have on the farm, that tree was a big highlight for me. It’s where my siblings and I actually got along consistently (they might tell you they were nice to me so they’d have one more worker to rake leaves…the corn field where I would get beat up and left for dead by them was another story) Our dog Crystal who was a gorgeous lab/german shep mix loved playing in the leaves too. She would retrieve all sorts of things we lost in the pile like Johnny’s glasses and a few other odds and sods. In the winter, she’d find lost mittens in the snow too. Bless her heart she retrieved stray eggs from random chicken nests (our chickens were free-range) and her soft mouth didn’t put a crack in them until she dropped them down on the cement pad outside the kitchen. But man she looked so proud of herself for ‘helping’.

The one thing you have to accept about living on the farm is that it isn’t all farm animals but there are weasels and snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlers. I am not afraid of any of them. I have a good understanding of what makes nature go round. I’m not about killing something I don’t like and I would gladly pick up a snake or let a spider walk along my arm. (mind you, that was Canada, I have been informed to let them be down here…ha!)

The only bad memory I have of a snake was one that was in and around our pile of leaves (‘cause bless their little snakey heart, they love leaves too!) The bad part stems from my Father killing this one who was around our pile. I won’t go into detail how he did it, but I will just say bless his big Daddy heart for wanting to protect us. I still wish he didn’t though.

Since the whole incident, I haven’t been willing to climb a big maple and jump in the leaves and this is because of the bad memory. I’ve done this a lot in life too. You become nervous about entering relationships when you’ve had a bad one. You question new people, thinking they are also a snake in the pile and that some massive attack is imminent and you just have to wait for it to come down heavy on ya.

But, slowly you get over the baggage and you feel like, "Great! This is a no-drama incident!" and you feel fortunate you can just play in leaves with no snakes. But I am having a new revelation (my revelations are ongoing and always subject to change) where maybe we didn’t look close enough at the snake to see what the deeper meaning was.

In this case, the snake wanted the exact same thing as we did (well, I don’t know if he wanted the camaraderie like us but you get what I mean) He was just venturing out and looking for shelter and warmth. He didn’t know our Daddy was territorial. He basically was in the wrong place at the wrong time and nobody cared about his ability to fit in with the ecosystem or how he was able to control the insect population.

Much of my life I have been making reference to people like in the music industry as ‘snakes in the grass’, but really it’s not fair to the snakes. Ha! But maybe when we think someone is out to get us or we think they are lurking, it isn’t as bad as we perceive. Maybe there are times we just didn’t look at their motivation properly. It seems like everyone just wants to fit in somehow, wants to be loved or just needs some shelter. I believe the problem is how they present themselves to us and how we present ourselves to them. Without properly communicating what we need, we can come off snakey, needy or with ill-intent. Our baggage and history can taint our true motivation and we offload that to the next guy.

What I have been trying to do (and I do mean TRYING-it’s a battle) is learn how to not only look at a person’s heart before their action but understand where they, (not to mention I) fit into this whole world. Just because someone comes off rough to me doesn’t mean they don’t want the same things. Just like a person covered in tattoos is not evil, neither is someone who has a bad temper or a brash demeanor. If I can get past the fa├žade long enough to see what their motivation is, I may find that they essentially want the same things out of life and that it may just be my intolerance to a different personality that causes my perception of them to infiltrate my life negatively.

This is very freeing to me. It means I don’t have to inherit their baggage!! That is a major step. I not only don’t have expectations of other people, but I feel like what makes someone different than me can draw me a bit closer to them in the spirit of tolerance (as a human…lol…I don’t have to live with them or marry them…hahaha) They have their place in this world, I have mine. We can build boundaries, but we certainly don’t have to build hate based on society’s perception. I love my Father and his heart was as pure as that snake’s, but I still wished they could have resolved their differences. :)

In moving forward, I don’t think I would feel concerned now about jumping in leaves (both in reality and metaphorically) because I am seeing how we are all just trying to get a nut, ya know? When the end of the day comes, we all are just trying to find some warmth and shelter.

Hope your weekend ROCKS!!
Karen :)

"We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same." ~Anne Frank

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