Recently, my dad came by for a visit. Stepping out of his car, he said, “Hey, when do you plan to cut the grass? Do you need a hand with that?”
My dad (along with many others) seems to really want me to mow my lawn. He gazes around my yard with a twitch at the side of his eye. He makes little comments here and there, and sometimes just outright tells me what he thinks of my long, lush grass.
Here’s the thing – I’m not lazy. My grass is long not because I’ve slacked in the yard maintenance department, but because I WANT it long. I love it long. It is beautiful and soft and blows in the breeze. It provides hiding places for feisty chicks as they chase each other around the yard. It tickles my children’s legs as they run to a fro. It provides free food for our goats, who are often tethered in the thickest patches of lawn. Our grass is a habitat in and of itself, and who are we to cut it?
To me, lawn mowing is yet another act of control by humans on Nature. We seem unable to relax and enjoy grass in it’s natural, beautiful state; instead, most folks spend a good deal of time, money and energy on keeping the lawn impossibly short, groomed, manicured. Gas and electric lawnmowers are expensive hunks of metal that not only require a huge input to manufacture, but a large input to operate and maintain as well. I have a hard enough time justifying using gas in my car to get myself from point A to point B – how on Earth can I justify using gas in a machine for the sole purpose of grooming an expanse of grass? Beyond that, I’m a busy mama. I spend my days caring for three small children, a handful of goats, a flock of chickens, vegetable gardens, two dogs, a large old farmhouse, and a never-shrinking mountain of laundry. I just don’t care enough about keeping my grass short to add that chore to my sizable to-do list. I’d much rather spend my free moments spinning yarn, knitting, crocheting, reading, baking or playing with my children.
I’ve yet to figure out just what this obsession with a well-manicured lawn is all about. I think a freshly-mown lawn looks sad, damaged and injured in comparison to a long, lush lawn. Our front yard is beautiful! The grass invites all sorts of birds, butterflies, and other sweet creatures. It is a haven for our own animals as well, providing cool nooks and crannies in which to rest on a hot afternoon, and plenty of delicious lunchtime fare.
In my life, I endeavour to honour Mother Earth, not subdue Her and control Her. Letting the grass grow as it pleases is part of this, however small an act it may be. And you know, an amazing thing happens when you let go of control and allow life to flow – you find unexpected beauty every time you blink your eyes. Mama Earth is really that incredible.