Living in New England for my entire life, I’ve gotten used to the ritual of raking leaves every fall. For the past decade I had the luxury of not having to bag the leaves since I lived on a large lot with woods behind my home. The collected leaves are deposited into the woods to decompose naturally adding to the ground cover.
This weekend, I offered to help a friend rake leaves at his home. I soon found out how spoiled I’ve been. His house is located in an urban community requiring the leaves to be bagged and put out to the curb for collection. “Not bad” I thought. How hard can it be to rake the leaves into bags rather than to the woods. Six hours later I knew. We spent the day raking and bagging leaves on his front lawn. Yes, I said on his front lawn only.
My appreciation for the woods behind my home grew as the day progressed and I learned something about life during that day. For me, raking the leaves to the woods is “My Normal.” For him, raking and bagging leaves is “His Normal.” Talking about doing something just doesn’t compare to actually doing it. I learned that the word “Normal” isn’t! What’s normal for one person might be totally alien to another.
We live in a world of “Normals” yet the people living those “Normals” don’t necessarily understand what “Normal” is to another culture or society. The simple act of raking leaves helped me understand how my definition and understanding of the word normal could be totally alien to another person.
Raking leaves on Saturday was a mind opening event!
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