An ode to the leaf pile

Before sending them to their fiery grave, take a moment to say thank you.

An ode to the leaf pile

An ode to the leaf pile 1024 650 Looking out Loud

This is 60-second Dadspeak—daily reflections on becoming a dad, while still growing up myself. You can find the full mini-pod audio list here.


November 20, 2021

In my small backyard there’s a big pile of leaves that I need to move to the street to be taken away. Before I do, I wanted to share my gratitude and deep appreciation for these leaves and what they’ve brought to our lives, because it’s so easy to overlook. So here we go: an ode to the leaf pile.

Hey, leaf pile. Thanks for being there. You fell from great heights to blanket our yard in beautiful yellows and oranges. And you didn’t complain when we played football on top of you. Or when we raked you up into a massive heap, before we leaped through the air and smashed down on top of you. I’m sure you heard my kids laughing, yelling at me to pile you back up for another pounce.

But even before you fell, you were there for us. Dangling from the trees above, you took sunlight, water, and and CO2, and gave us oxygen to breathe. And we really like breathing. (Even though many of our human habits like driving and smoking and forrest fires suggest otherwise.)

Now I have to take you out to the road, where you’ll be vacuumed up by a big truck. It won’t hurt. And inside you’ll meet other leaves, cousins of yours that you’ve never met, even though they’ve been living in the same town. Enjoy those interactions, because they won’t last long.

Leaves, we won’t see you again, but know how much we’ve appreciated you. You’ve helped us live, you’ve helped us laugh. And though you’ll be gone, we’ll look forward to breathing from—and then jumping in—your offspring for years to come.

Thank you.

→ Giving thanks wasn’t enough. So to preserve these colors, we glued the fall to our wall.

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