Friday, August 16, 2013

Mowing the lawn

I mowed the lawn at The Oasis yesterday.

We have an old-fashioned, 2-wheeled, reel mower that you have to push. It does a terrific job cutting the grass as long as the grass isn’t too long, or you don’t run over a stick.  It took me two hours. Our grass was very long and I ran over lots of sticks.

If the grass is too long, the grass just kind of bends over as the mower passes over it. Then it pops back up and laughs. So you have to make several passes over that particular blade of grass, from various angles and different directions. It’s very much like a dance.

My grandfather DeeDee had a reel mower that hung in the little shed behind his house in Massachusetts. It maintained its fresh-cut grassy smell even if he hadn’t used it in months. It had a certain distinguished air about it. It also looked slightly dangerous - but in a respectful way - not in the horror movie kind of way.

I was in awe of DeeDee’s reel mower, and I always wanted to have one of my own. Reel mowers are unobtrusive and well-mannered. Reel mowers are much more sincere and unpretentious than their gas-powered cousins. And don’t even get me started on the electric models – those are obvious imposters.

So I mowed for two hours, enjoying the fresh-cut grassy smell, and working up a sweat. It was meditative and calming; very Zen-like, in a nostalgic, home-spun way. And while I mowed, I noticed the way the color of the grass changed depending on the angle which the mower cut it. I also noticed that our grass was abnormally long and our yard was full of sticks. But I considered it an honor to cut the grass and dance.

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