During the growing season branches in our yards extend their leaves like hands with palms outstretched to catch the sunlight.
Now that the work of chloroplasts in the foliage fed by sun, water, nutrients and carbon dioxide is done for a season, the spent leaves carpet the earth’s floor. Their work done, their season in the sun gives way to the dead of winter and branching hope for renewal in a next generation of leaves the following spring season. Having moved amassed sugars and carbohydrates from their manufacturing “plant” to the roots for storage, a healthy plant in essence saves for a rainy (or snowy) day. Technically if allowed to do so, the spent leaf can find a second calling as a beneficial compostable soil amendment when worked into the soil or compost pile.
Why not use the free leaves as some composting benefit and reward because like Neil Sedaka used to sing, “raking up is hard to do” (or something like that). The process of going into dormancy as we head towards winter is inevitable and non-reversible, fall then winter IS going to happen. Fortunately once dormant , dormancy itself is a reversible stage as on cold snowy days we dream of spring days to come.