Friday, September 7, 2012

Lawn Zen

As household chores go, I enjoy taking care of my lawn.

In fact I find there’s a certain Zen like quality in cutting it.

See the lawn…be the lawn…even that little mound of brown substance of indeterminate origin.

I don’t know why I enjoy mowing the lawn, and not so much everything else.  I just have, ever since I was a kid.

Maybe because it involved this big powerful, potentially dangerous machine with a big sharp spinning blade, but the basics were pretty simple and hard to screw up…even for me.

Just go down one way, and back the other. Keep the wheels on the line you just left behind, and on and on it goes.



You don’t even have to think about it other than following the lines.

Your mind can go wherever it wants to go…even into mindlessness.

Or your neighbor’s kitchen, from where that nice smell of fresh baked brownies is wafting.

And then mindlessness…with a snack.

I alternate my lines every week.

One week straight up and down.

The next week on the diagonal.

The week after that, the opposite diagonal.

Then back to straight up and down.


After a while it leaves a nice diamond pattern on the lawn, but the idea is to keep the grass on its toes, so it doesn’t get complacent and grow crooked, like so many other wayward blades out there, especially that punk grass across the street.

So I mix it up.

Some people, especially new home owners, like to use a small push mower; you know, one of those old fashion kind without a mower like your grandpa used; the one that weighed about 20 tons.

They make them a lot smaller and lighter now, so lawn newbies think they're less invasive to the enviroment, and provides an opportunity to get a good workkout  as well.

Well, that usually lasts about two, maybe three cuttings, then...enviroment be damned.

Mowing a lawn is kind of an intimate experience between man and plant.  You become familiar with all its little eccentricities and needs just like in any other relationship.

People tend not to think of their lawn as a plant, but it is…one big spread out plant that needs to be cared for and nurtured, again, just like any other living, breathing thing.

Well, except maybe the guy from the phone company who keeps trying to get me to switch to his company’s internet, phone and television package.  He keeps forgetting he’s been to my house a half dozen times in the last 6 months…until I get the fly swatter out; then he remembers.

There’s no caring and nurturing that guy.

But I digress…

I also try to weed out the pesky intruders on my lawn; things like crab grass and clover. You have to stay on top of that stuff or else they just make themselves right at home and settle in for the duration.

Kind of like…well, you know.

What?  You thought I was going for yet another lame in-law joke.

Nah…even I have my limits on in-law references. Even the phone company guy was a lazy attempt at humor.

But it’s September…you know. 

Anyway, August and September is prime time for crab grass in your lawn, which makes sense because crab grass on your person would make you hygienically suspect.

Believe me, I know….

Clover starts sprouting up just as soon as the grass starts growing in the spring.  Once those pretty little white flowers bloom, there’s no stopping it.

Same with the crabgrass, although grab grass is more of a “lie in wait” kind of weed.  Once the weather gets tirelessly hot, like was for July and most of August, it snakes its way through the grass and finds a nice cushy weak spot to take hold. From there it blooms, dries and blows its seed.

Just like my—

Okay, I won’t go there.

Cheap joke.

I’ll wait for a more expensive joke to come along.

Anyway, so the point is, you’ve got to stay on top of this otherwise you’ll have weeds everywhere instead of grass.

And some people are okay with that.  In fact I used to be one of them.

As long as it’s green, I used to say, who cares.

But not anymore.

Now I’ve become one of those guys….

Now I’ve become one with the lawn.

Okay… enough on landscaping. Now I’m going to go out and…guess what?


I’m going to go get a sandwich.

But then….

Up and down, this way and that…follow the lines…become the lines….

And watch out for your toes.  


  1. Did you say it's August?? Bless my soul. I thought it was September. If time is going backwards, I'm glad about that, as its going forward is so confusing. Because the present doesn't last - it becomes the past right away-I'm not sure exactly when - but it just disappears. You could say there is no such thing as the present. Hey, what does time do when it goes backwards?

    1. Are you sure? Check it again….

      Okay…you got me. Actually it was August when I wrote it a couple of weeks ago. But then I kept coming up with more timely topics and bumping it back. Of course then I forgot to check it again last night before it posted.

      I think backwards time would be just as annoying as forward time. We never appreciate anything until we lose it…probably even wrinkles.

      Actually the present is all really there is.

    2. Perhaps backward time goes into the recycle bin along with the wrinkles, which are just waiting to pounce on some poor unsuspecting Democrat.


Retort to the Retort -

“Is there anybody alive out there…”