A lot of people detest mowing the lawn. Not just a ‘Oh man I have to mow the lawn,’ kind of feeling, but a ‘Good God I hate this why do I have to do this shit shit shit,’ kind of hatred that can only come with something associated with physical activity. I can see why.
For one, we live in South Texas. It’s hot as balls. For 8 months out of the year, it’s over 80 degrees and feels like you’re walking through a bowl of soup.
It’s also a pretty solid workout. I mow my grandparents’ lawn weekly, but it’s a few measly rectangles in the front, a very small backyard, and a small strip in between them and their neighbors. It’s not that big, but I still work up quite a sweat. For people who have a one or two acre plot, I bet it can be pretty tiring.
But really, I think mowing the lawn is probably one of the most fun things in the world to do. Why? I’ll tell you why.
First of all, you’re taming nature. Have you ever held an axe or a chainsaw in your hand and cut down a tree? Oh man. It’s an awesome feeling. Cutting the grass is kind of like that but 10,000 times better because you’re cutting through 10,000 tiny, little, skinny trees all at once. When I pull up to my grandparents’ house and see their beast of a lawn with grass growing through rocks and weeds coming out of the cracks in the sidewalk, I get a tingly feeling in my spine. Those blades of grass don’t even know what’s coming.
Second of all, the smell. There’s a lot of smells that come from mowing the grass. There’s the gasoline. There’s the rare wild onion I end up cutting through. There’s the beads sweat running down my face, getting caught in my glasses and stuck in my beard. Not to mention the grass itself. It’s an amazing sensory experience. I love walking outdoors at my apartment and hearing the riding lawnmowers coming my way. I know my nose is about to be in for a treat.
Lastly, mowing the lawn gives you a feeling of satisfaction that nothing else can. Like I said earlier, driving up to my grandparents’ house and seeing the jungle of grass that’s grown up over the last week gives me shivers. I know that in an hour’s time, every single blade of grass on that plot of land will be the same height. The sidewalks and driveway will have a perfect 1″ trench along their borders. I know that I will have made something that was once untamed and unruly, beautiful.
As a kid, I really did hate it. My first job was mowing lawns for this old witch down the street from my grandparents, the same ones I’m referring to in this blog. I hated going down to her house and picking up the trash out of the lawn (that she probably threw on there intentionally), pushing that 40 lb. mower through the grass, and weed whacking and edging. After that, I’d go down to my grandparents’s house and do it all over again. It was a great way to spend a Saturday as a middle school kid. Not that I had anything better to do except for play video games.
But as I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to look forward to that one hour a week. I look forward to the isolation, the smells, and the experience. It’s time to be alone, take tools, and make something beautiful. Even if it does take a while. Even if it does make me sweat out half my body weight. Even if it does mean having to run away from wasps, screaming like a little girl. I love it.