Thursday, September 25, 2008


When I looked out the front window yesterday,
I knew what had to be done.

The yard was going to seed,
the garden wilted into an ugly mass
of withered vines,
the bird feeders were empty
and weeds had taken over my
pitiful petunias.

I procrastinated at first.
I thought that maybe a nap would
help me forget
or a trip to town might
make it all go away.

But I decided to face it head on.
I dressed in my lawn gear
and began my outdoor chores.

I cranked up the weed eater
and for some reason,
the entire time it was spitting out rocks and
grass and dandelion greens-
I was singing "Ghost Busters" in my head.
I even tried to concentrate on stuff to
write for my blog,
but nothing except those goofy lyrics
would embed into my brain.
What made it worse is,
I don't even know the words.

Usually when I ride the lawn mower,
I say a prayer or two.
Call me a weirdo, but
that's the most private time I have.
Inside the house, I am distracted by
things that need cleaned and straightened-
and usually my prayers drift off into sleep
or a load of laundry.
But, there on my lawnmower,
I can't escape or be distracted.
The grass is being cut and my mind is free.
Do you think it's wrong to pray for
the grass to quit growing?

By afternoon, I was looking pretty gritty.
My hair was entwined with twigs,
my jeans were grass-stained
and my body was begging for mercy.
Sweat was drenching my brow,
chiggers were having a party on my ankles,
and blisters popped out like popcorn
on my palms.
But I persevered.

And the wonderful thing
about my full day of work
is that suddenly
it all became a pleasure.

I noticed yellow and purple leaves
that had softly fallen from the trees.
The sky was a beautiful clear blue
and the sun cast shadows and
ripples on the pond.
I saw black-eyed susans
and little grasshoppers
and frogs hopping to escape
my monstrous machines.

I noticed yellow finches,
the neighbors coal-black cat
and young horses playing in the field nearby.
The sun felt good on my arms and my face.
The grass smelled fresh.
The song in my head finally changed
from "Ghost Busters" to
"Oh, What a Beautiful Morning".

When all was said and done,
I swept the walk, fed the birds
and surveyed my work.
The lawn was absolutely flawless.
Each pass of the lawnmower
had left perfect rows of cut grass
like strokes of a giant paintbrush.
The sight was pure and clean and pleasing.

I was glad then that I hadn't procrastinated.
I was happy that I hadn't wasted the day
napping or shopping.
I was thankful that I was witness to
the changing season
and to nature's incredible gifts.

It was then that I closed my eyes
and said, "Thank you, God, for letting the grass grow."