For the last few months, I’ve lived 3 miles, instead of 2000 miles, from my sister. The other day I was at her house, just hanging out. She needed to clear leaves off her porch and driveway, so I asked if she wanted help. Loyal readers know that I come from a long line of pathologically helpful women.
It was a chilly but sunny fall day and nice to be outside. Plus, collecting leaves is a pretty satisfying activity. There’s that same thrill of restoring order as cleaning out a drawer or a closet. But without the mental effort to decide what to keep. Repetitive, physical labor with potential for visible progress. What’s not to love?
I squatted, stooped, and scooped. And squatted, stooped, scooped, squatted, stooped, scooped…. Maybe progress wasn’t so visible. There were a lot of leaves.
I indulged in the type of mind wandering I used to do on epic runs. One thought I had: “Many hands make light work.” It’s good to have a companion for the unending campaign against the fall leaves. Another thought: we are—wait for it—The Sisyphus Sisters.
Here are The Sisyphus Sisters thirty years ago, not far from where we live now. We love this picture. There we are, hanging from a tree, in a beautiful impersonation of the joy of youth.