April 08, 2017

That Raking Sound

That Raking Sound 
By John R. Greenwood

There's something about the sound of a metal rake when it hits the ground for the first time each spring. For me, it "is" the sound of spring. Those metal tines whisking up winters leftovers is like a starters pistol signaling, "Go!"

I've been at this springtime lawn ritual for about fifty years now. Yes, October leaf raking can be invigorating, but wielding the rake in October is more like putting the kids to bed. Leaf piles signal it's time to sit back and relax and let winter drive for awhile. On the other hand, pulling out the $12 "Special Buy" Ace Hardware aluminum rake a week before Easter is what I've been looking forward to for months. It practically jumps from the dark recesses of the garage into my hands. The hands whose knuckles are chapped from the March winds but whose palms are soft and in need of some fresh rake-blisters. I head out to the edge of my property where the lawn ends and Waller Road begins, spit a, "let's do this," spit in the palm of each hand and let spring officially begin. A robin watches from a maple branch above hoping I unearth brunch for her and the kids. The Saturday morning sun warms the back of my neck, I take in a big whiff of leaf mulch and fresh earth, hit the ground with a good swipe and smile.

Life is good.

Rake on...


  1. The robin watches! Ha. Great way to usher in spring for sure. But don't trust it and plant flowers! It will probably freeze a time or two still :).

    1. Yes, we've been hasty before. Mother likes to tease us with those 70+ days.