Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Grass Keeps Growing

Before moving to the farm, Vera and I lived in a house in one of those “cookie-cutter”-type neighborhoods. It was a nice house and in a great location, within walking distance, in fact, of many restaurants, the grocery store, the post office, and so on.

Our house greatly resembled most of the others, of course, with about 40 or so of them squeezed into a few blocks. Our yard, as it were, was really just a couple of strips on all four sides, as we were mere feet away from neighbors on both sides. We’d even had some landscaping done in front and back, which essentially wiped out almost all of the green in those places.

In fact, it was so little grass to deal with we initially just had one of those push reel mowers. Then a family member gave us an old gas mower, with which it would take perhaps 10 minutes total to cut all the grass that needed cutting, a task that only came up a handful of times all year.

Now we’ve moved to a place with 15 acres, most of which is not wooded. We have designated pastures for the horses, but there is still a lot to deal with when it comes to mowing. We kind of let it sneak up on us, too, as it wasn’t until late April or so that we began to work in earnest to do something about the grass growing up all around us.

We have that same gas push mower, and just recently acquired a riding mower, too, which we’ve already put to a lot of use. (There it is, gleaming above.) I’ve also learned how to attach the bush hog to the tractor and have rumbled around on that bad boy several times as well.

But the grass keeps growing. And fast. I’ve been joking that the more I cut it, the stronger it seems to become. It’s as though I can feel it growing behind me with each pass.

There’s an undeniable pleasure, of course, that comes with mowing the grass, especially for those of us for whom adjectives like “compulsive” or “perfectionist” or “completist” sometimes apply to describe how we approach various tasks. There something familiar about it for me, too, like working through a “to do” list, grading a stack of papers, or moving row by row down another blog post to publish here.

Some approach their poker-playing this way, too, pushing their way through a certain predetermined number of hours or hands or sit-n-gos, each deal like the rotating of the blade, cutting through time and space until they can say they are done. For now.

I’ll sometimes finish a section, put the mower away, then walk back out to look with satisfaction upon the work completed.

But I don’t look too closely when I do. Because the grass. It keeps growing. I can see it.

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