Monday, July 14, 2008

My New Obsession...

Mowing our spacious yard! Those who know me well know that I live for meshing with nature. From carrying the wayward spider out of my house and into my plants outside, to crouching with the kids on a nature hike helping them put to memory the field marks of the snake on our path so they can look up the species when we return home. The only way, normally, that I stop to control nature is when I spy a turtle or snake on the road. Then comes the screeching of the brakes followed by me pointing at oncoming traffic like a mad-woman, mouthing "Watch the turtle/snake!!!", and either showing the kids the turtle before releasing it on the side of the road it was heading for, or showing them how easy it is to use a forked stick to move the sun-bathing slither-er before it comes to an unacceptable fate. I carefully step over bees in the yard, strive to never step on a plant when out looking at wildflowers in the springtime, and would never kill a bug unless it would possibly harm me or my children. "Conquering" nature is just something that doesn't fit into MY nature. Typically.

For years Adam and I have had an agreement - I don't do lawns, he doesn't do dishes. I'm pretty sure I got the raw end of that deal (how many months out of the year do you have to mow a lawn?), but it has made us both happy. During the last 5 weeks of Adam being gone for business every day but Sunday, his end of that deal got dropped. Of course, I completely agreed with him when he stated that, on the one day he was home, he was NOT going to spend 2 hours mowing the lawn. He said I should just find someone to pay to mow our yard and forget about it. The problem with that is I am cheap, and I couldn't stand the thought of it. So when my Mom and Dad were down one day, I conquered my aversion and started up the lawn mower, something I haven't done since I was around 10. Mom was out of town and Daddy at work when my brother let me try after I bugged him enough. He stopped me after 2 crooked, half-missed rows. As an adult, I was expecting to bite the bullet and mow the lawn, just get it done and maybe it would be the last time I had to do it. What I wasn't expecting was how much I would LOVE every minute of it.

I just mowed for the second time last night, with my kids following behind with their play mowers like a little procession of grass-cutting goslings. I have found a new love, and it is, most surprisingly to me, in a nature-conquering work-horse kind of task. My love is born of the freedom of mind that comes with walking behind a deafening machine. I have a required 2 hours of time where my mind does nothing but think of the task at hand, or something completely random (like how to put my feelings all into words on a blog, or my favorite joke that I had forgotten about). I also get a required 2 hours of solid cardio-workout. My body gets to work hard, while the hardest my mind has to work is to decide which triangle to cut off and when as I strive for all 90 degree angles, or when to cut off a small rectangle of space to get to watch Kane more closely as he focuses on walking behind me step for step. And I love the little mowing-dance that we perform, where words cannot be used and we have to communicate innately. Although I love the conquering aspect (this is MY yard, and I'm going to OWN IT!) and the easily-seen progression of my hard work, I have to bring my normal meshing ways into the job to stop for the precious few honeybees to amble out of my way. Then I am done, all too soon for my liking, and my body is so jazzed that what I really want to do is take a run around the block to top it off. My mind is racing with things I want to write on this blog, and further concepts for articles and children's books that I have been working on developing. It is a beautiful thing, mowing the lawn; the balance of motion and stagnancy, of physical job and mental relaxation, of work and ease, that energizes the body and mind and spurs creativity. But then it is over and done, and the reality of everyday is looming, albeit a bit more tolerable. Back to the trenches to fight the good battle, with bedtimes for a tired boy and broken-armed girl, a snotty babe who won't sleep, an annoyingly-dead fish to bury, and loads of laundry and dishes with my name still on them. Goodbye, lawn mower. I will anxiously await our next meeting. It could never be too soon.

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