Letter to the editor 1, June 11, 2015

Dear Editor,

The Mayor of St. Lazare, Mr. Grimaudo, is correct. If the biggest issue the town faces are the leaves, then things are really pretty good (Your Local Journal, 4 June 2015). This fallen foliage topic moves me to highlight the greater problem hidden beneath. I chuckle at the annual attempt to tame Mother Nature.

Long ago I yielded to the Grande Dame, letting her have her way with the fallen leaves. Lest I be accused of community bigotry, here in Hudson we also witness the ritual. Surrounded by a continent of leafy vegetation we clear our little corner of ground and proclaim our dominance. The leaves have fallen for a billion years and, chances are, will continue to do so. In my short time, I’ve noticed they also tend to disappear all by themselves, assisted by bacteria and worms, returning to the earth as the perfect fertilizer.

A simple pass of the mower in the spring effectively speeds the composting process and, to boot, there are no leaves to rake, no bags to fill and no taxpayers to ding. I suppose, though, some will insist on the annual pick-up as long as everyone else foots the bill. The St. Lazare “leaf storm” reminds me of other recent times when people were up in arms, figuratively.

On a national level, one could almost hear the strains of ‘La Marseillaise’ in the streets when cable TV packages changed. Oh, the outrage! If the town is not removing the bagged leaves, or The Establishment is messing with the cable package, then Storm the Bastille!

Otherwise, it seems the grandest action we can muster is to accumulate Facebook ‘Likes’ for some popular cause instead taking a position, and acting, on the greater issues of our towns, province, country and, indeed, the world. Look beyond the leaf bags. Step out of the comfort of our welfare state. Take action on the serious issues.

Imagine if Canadians once again focused their energy on real problems, what positive change we could effect on a broad scale. Despite the foregoing, I really don’t mind the leaves one way or the other; they will do just fi ne on their own. I do mind, however, the growing social laziness and recommend the energy of similar discontent be directed to causes of more significance.

T. Allen Rea

Hudson

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