Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easy Rider

It's almost time in my part of the country
to start cutting the grass.
It's time to tune up the lawnmowers
and rig up the weed eaters
and be prepared for a yard that
will never stop growing
until October.

I like to mow.

There is something quite empowering
about calmly sitting back
on a moving machine
that has deadly blades swirling
beneath it.

There's a sense of adventure-
of being out in the air and sunshine.

It's an opportunity for artistic expression-
of whether you will keep the
rows straight
or divert them into
a maze of emerald wonder.

My yard takes about two hours
to mow and trim.
That gives me two hours
of empty brain time
that I can fill with anything I want.

The only distraction is
the hum of the engine-
and sometimes the
as I speed over a pile
of sweetgum balls and they
propel like bullets from
the grass chute.

I sing.
I recite quotes.
I plan supper.
I pray.

But mostly sing.
It always sounds good
because you can't really hear it.

There is no other time on earth
like the time spent on a lawnmower.

I will admit I have had my share
of mower mishaps.
No matter how safe I try to be,
I nearly always slice the
roots of the maple tree out front.
Their thick gnarly roots
must be taken in slow motion,
at a delicate speed,
with careful, attentive
lawnmower love.

Don't tell my husband,
but I've hit the house before.
I mean- nothing major-
just scraped the front tires
across the foundation,
leaving a black scuff of rubber
on the gray block.

There are several occasions
that I was sure I'd slide into the pond-
mowing at an angle only
meant for mountain goats.

I've been slapped by branches
and stabbed by limbs
and attacked by more insects
than a rain forest.
I've been sunburned,
and butt-numbed.

But yet- I go back.

Each week I climb up
on that big red grass-chewing monster
and rule the yard.

And for two hours,
I am Queen.
I am invincible.
I am in charge.
I am an American Idol.

"Like a true nature's child I was born,
born to be wild

I can mow so high-
It's nev-er gon-na diiiiiie..."