It was a beautiful day for raking. The sun was shining and the breeze was light. I have a very deep back yard with quite a few large oak trees, so raking consumes much of the late fall. When my children were little I would rake the leaves all the way down to the bottom of the back hill and we'd have a leaf pile jumping fest. In the ensuing few years of high school and sports, we have been much more business like in our raking, "just get it finished."
But today, today, as I said, was a beautiful day for raking and there were no other activities to attend to, so we raked as a family and we raked because it was nice to be outside together. I started to create a pile at the bottom of the hill, diligently raking and hauling leaves down the slope. My son noticed the pile, picked up the other rake and joined the effort.
He's bigger now but no less adept at leaf pile jumping. He dove in effortlessly and I watched as all 5' 11" disappeared into the leaves.
We raked the leaves back into a tall pile. I stood back and took a running jump into the pile. I failed miserably. I basically stepped into the pile. We re-raked the leaves and I tried again. This time landing with a splat on the top of the pile. My son was, at this point, looking at me with a combination of pity and horror, I imagine he was thinking, "How can she not know how to jump into a leaf pile?" I was wondering the same thing, "When had I lost the unrestrained joy of jumping into a leaf pile?" With the patience of a good teacher, he tried to coach me. "Try diving in below the canopy, about half way down the pile, lift your feet off the ground, relax...." Numerous attempts, quite a few somersaults, and no broken bones later, I emerged from the pile, having at least improved my form. What an experience. I walked away reminding myself that at any given moment, we are all teachers and learners, all be it, sometimes slightly humiliated learners...