Blog

Raking leaves

So I had this neighbor. He loved his leaf blower and used it any chance he got. Which is fine, more power to him. The problem he was trying to solve was to quickly get unwanted leaves off his lawn. This problem, however, was particularly annoying to him because he didn't have one single tree on his property. 

We did. In fact, we had a large deciduous tree that shed leaves like crazy. The tree also happened to be sitting right where our two properties met. So every fall, he would take out his leaf blower and blow the leaves off his lawn...back onto ours.

We "caught" him doing this a few times. As soon as we would walk outside, he would turn his back and continue to blow the leaves in a different direction. This, of course, was a difficult problem to solve. We didn't know what to do. Should we confront him? Would he be offended by that? After all, the leaves he was blowing were our leaves in the first place. So we did nothing and acted like it was nothing. But we did complain to our friends and other neighbors. They pretty much all sided with us. Saying things like "you should bag up all your leaves and leave them on his front porch," or, "buy a leaf blower and blow the leaves back onto his lawn." None of these solutions sat well with me. So we continued to do nothing. Even worse, I felt like our relationship with our leaf-blowing neighbor was weakening (not that we had much of a relationship, to begin with, but talking behind his back wasn't making anything better). 

Then I had this idea. An idea I never acted on but, looking back, should have. What if I decided to take the initiative and rake the leaves off his lawn? Again, they were leaves from my tree, anyway...I wonder if he would have responded differently? I wonder if he would have noticed my kindness and chose to return that kindness? I wonder if my attitude toward him would have changed? I wonder if we would now be close friends?