Sunday, May 23, 2010

Zen and the Art of Lawn Care

My house sits on sort of an "L" shaped lot. Altogether, it's about half an acre. I usually pay a friend's son $30 a pop to mow it for me every other week or so. There is a back yard, that's uneven and grows mostly dog poop and clover, a side yard with an apricot tree and a small front yard adjacent to my neighbors to the south. I love my neighbors, by the way. Walter and Leisl are retired. She's from Germany and he's an old Air Force dude.
Anyway, it's been a little rainy lately and my friend and her family have moved out to Lake Thunderbird, which is about 10 miles out of town in the middle of nowhere. It's hard to get her kiddo, Tarron, out to mow what with school and her teaching schedule and her husband's business (he's my contractor). I don't really know anyone else that wouldn't totally screw me over on prices, and I do have a push mower. It's electric. So is the weed eater. And Luke had to work today. I hate mowing the lawn. I don't know why. Let me revise that: I hate the thought of mowing my lawn. It's dirty and hot and sweaty work and people stare at you from the street. I live on Berry road. It's a busy vein in the body of Norman, Oklahoma. Sometimes people honk. I hate being looked at. But fuck it. I didn't really have any plans for today. It's Sunday. All my friends spend Sunday at home with their families, doing housework or homework or paying attention to their kids or writing or doing what the fuck ever they do. And the lawn was getting up to the middle of my shins and looking like it might eat one of the dogs if they ventured out at night. So I resigned myself to firing up the mower, stuck some old shoes on my feet, ear buds in my ears and went to town for about three hours.
It's pretty zen to mow the lawn and weed-eat. You can only go as fast as you go, and the repetition is soothing. Gives me time to contemplate life. My iPod drowns out traffic noise and honking. I thought about the semester just past and some implications for my teaching practice. I listened to Kenny Rogers and thought about how difficult it would be to live a life as a long-term cheater and decided I just wouldn't be good at that. Nirvana made me want to get high even though I don't do that sort of thing.
The sun beat down and I started sweating. Pony tail, tank top, sunglasses and jeans- that's my standard yard work attire. Glad I had it today. It's a change after last night. I had my hair in an updo, pretty make up and a low cut, high cut dress for the wedding. I really didn't want to go. I hate weddings. I didn't know anyone there besides Luke anyway, but he does a lot for me that he doesn't have to, so I decided to be an adult. Wouldn't you know it? I got seated at the fun table with neat friends of the groom and made some new acquaintances. They're musicians in a group called "Wander Not", or "Wanderknot" or something like that. I don't know, but I promised to go see them play in June. I'm pretty sure that today I was unrecognizable from the Cinderella crap I had on last night. I mean, pantyhose and everything.
After the sweep up and cleaning my equipment, I was beat and sunburned a little on my face and shoulders. I felt the way I felt last night after coming home from the wedding- accomplished, happy and like I'd done a good thing. And a little sheepish that I resist such activities that are probably good for me. They get me out of (and into) my head and make me a better person by sweeping aside the detritus of my soul.

1 comment:

  1. I'll mow your lawn for $30 bucks if you decide you don't want to do it yourself. :)