Topic: "New Life, Old Leaves"(4)
Detritus has been deposited in the Gardens of the Shire by cold daily winds for what seems like the longest of seasons. Wet and rotting leaves find their way into every nook. Even the industrious Hobbit has found good reason to let the swirl be, and to seek other tasks closer to the hearth. Then, with little warning, the clime dawns sunny and warm for the first time in the New Year, and the luxury of first one day, leads then to the deeds undone upon the second. It is then that Frodo finds the rising bulbs, hidden beneath winter's mask, and notes the first color on the forsythia.
The old rake seems aware of its task, and performs seemingly independent of the untested shoulders. Soon the tarpaulin is piled high with that which covered all the Earth, and Frodo strains with the long pull to the hillside below. Fiona and Mick, the Wonder Dog, frolic for a moment, then realize that scattering more leaves is not a playtime agenda. They need wait a while before joining the Hobbit on an excursion to inspect the activity in like-minded corners of the Shire. For it is true that, despite all that is to be done, these first warm days are mostly occupied by uncovering what lies below, and an inspection of the possibilities.
The full moon that builds upon the day is dubbed "a raccoon moon," for reasons that Frodo knows not. He has always suspicioned that it is an anniversary of the first sighting of a woodland creature. It is one mystery easily solved he supposes, but Frodo is content with merely knowing that it is. That which brings life back, and lessens the challenge of survival is something to be celebrated, not analyzed. Soon the tasks at hand will be so voluminous that Frodo will bypass nearly all of his opportunities to free-lance, and maintenance will be his assignment. Only the heat of the day will then bring him to pause and note that the detritus now warms a birthing salon, for coats of many colors.
May Frodo, and you, dear reader, enjoy your raccoon moon. It will be a long time coming, again. Look up and share the night sky with all those who thought enough about the world in which we live that they could help us chronicle this great gift.