I gather fallen leaves
as I would my children.
I am currently reading a Zen text called Tenzo Kyokun (Instructions for the Zen Cook). In this, the Tenzo (head chef) is encouraged to treat ingredients with the same amount of reverence regardless of whether he personally likes them or not. Everything has importance and should be treated with respect. The implication is that this is how all of life should be approached, not just kitchen work.
This was almost certainly in mind when I gathered up leaves on my small patio on a bright autumn day. The sky was bright and this was reflected by the openness in my mind as I carried out this simple but satisfying task. I kept many of the leaves and greatly appreciated their beauty and important job they have done throughout the past year. They may now be redundant but their beauty is undiminished.
This work was written for an online haiku course with Alan Summers at Area17. This is greatly recommended for anyone wishing to improve their haiku work.