Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I was busy blowing leaves again yesterday, for what I hope is the last time this season, when I was struck by the notion that the mighty wind of my leaf blower was analogous to the windy bluster of the political season.

At one point I had a big pile of leaves gathered near a bush, all seeming to huddle together for strength against the breeze trying to blow them apart. Sure, some of the leaves on the periphery were separated from the pile, blown over to the other mound of gathering leaves on the other side of the yard. But, for the most part, that group clung desparately to their bush in the lee of the prevailing wind.

Across the yard another pile was forming, not quite as cohesively as the bush clinging group, but gathering together more and more as the wind blew in their direction. That pile was more scattered and seemed to struggle a bit to come together, having a bunch of Oak leaves trying to mix with the prevailing Elm leaves, to create a consistent group that could hold its shape. It seemed to collect more strength as the bush pile gave in to the breeze and sent some of its members over to the newly formed pile. With the addition of those new members the pile on the other side of the yard became bigger and dominated the yard with its democratic acceptance of all new pile members. The bush-side pile was dwindling as its leaves scattered across the landscape.

Then my trusty leaf blower cast its vote for one big pile by commingling bush pile leaves with the newly formed democratic pile. Now all the leaves were in one big group, gathered together in one place, forming one huge cooperative mound of leaves. Once they were all together it was difficult to tell them apart. They looked pretty much the same. The new pile had a variety of colors and shapes. But when they all came together to form a cohesive whole, they just looked like a pile of leaves. As long as they stick together, clinging to each other for strength, no amount of wind can blow them apart.

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