Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Autumn Devi

Every autumn, as I rake leaves under our maples, I angle the rake just so, and in a precise swift movement, sweep back the rustling piles towards the roots. Then, as I repeat the movement, I'm reminded of the stance of the Devi, poised with her trident over the demon Mahishasura, in many depictions that I've seen. And I wonder"What would a Devi of the suburbia look like?" Would she be jabbing a pile of leaves with a rake, with a leaf blower, pruner, edger and shovel in her multitudinous arms? I wish that I had the drawing or Photoshopping skills to come up with a suitable pictorial rendition.

The leaves are dry, faintly acrid and musty, not an unpleasant scent. Maybe I should consider trying to develop an 'Eau d'Automne' with faintly musty highlights on a base of jasmine and patchouli essences. But who would want to purchase something that smells faintly of decay? Definitely not the usual customers. Maybe the ghost-attired contingent could douse themselves in it as they drive off to their Halloween parties.

That's it, I'm done with raking for the morning. 4 bags done, and only about 60 more to go, as all our trees drop their leaves in annual sequence : Side maples first, front red maple second, oak behind third, maple 3 next, front oak last. An insistent trill sounds out, followed by a near precise imitation of the phrase further away. Music lesson time for some young Carolina wren, I presume. I pause for a moment to listen to the guru and disciple as I top up the final bag. I put the rake and gloves back in the garage, and try for the nth time to locate the cute little shovel that I had bought months ago. Soon enough, it will be time to carve and set out the pumpkins that the kids picked up at the farmer's market.

This year's pumpkin carving experiment will be the tricky 'Trick or Treat skull' stencil, one of the few leftovers from the book of stencils bought several years ago. S has promised to try the major part of the carving himself- we'll see how he fares. He nearly gave me a heart attack the other day, claiming that they had paid an enormous amount for the pumpkins at the farm market. $47 for one large and 2 smaller pumpkins! (Luckily, the actual amount was less than $12). Teenagers- don't you love it when they decide to sport with your credulity!

Temperatures will be dropping to the 30's tonight. It's time to bring in all the jasmine and hibiscus pots and the numerous cuttings that have rooted over the summer. The whole sliding window is completely hidden by the screen of green. I can't possibly fit all of them there and need to now identify 'good homes' to whom I shall give away these little rootlings- it has to be someone with a reasonably green thumb, who will not neglect and abandon it over the winter. I'm off now to find out who it shall be.


Amit said...

There are ads on where people give away plants, and I've taken advantage of such ads in the past to get some plants. Don't know if you live in a city or a quiet suburb, but if there's a freecycle list in your area, it's worth a shot.

Sujatha said...

Actually, our homeowners association has an email list on which I have put the plants up for adoption. I've already heard from an interested neighbor, so won't have any difficulty with finding 'adoptive' homes.

Lekhni said...

The autumn Devi is an interesting idea! I vote for mowers and edgers/ trimmers in the lower arms, rakes and shovels in the middle arms and bulb planters and trowels in the arms pointing upwards :) One foot will crush a dandelion and she will sit on a bag of fertilizer :D

Did I tell you about the 5 foot tall
"hardy" hibiscus plant (tree?)I bought last year and planted outside? It died of cold. There apparently are varieties that survive winters outside, though obviously mine wasn't one of them :(

kochuthresiamma p j said...

know what? i love reading such blogs. more than any other piece of writing, they give a real feel of life in other places, of cultures and of the life of our people in distant lands

Sujatha said...

That's what this blog's all about, Kochuthresiamma, just snippets of daily life with all its little highlights and lowlights :)