When we lived in Connecticut and then Florida, there were these rules – some unwritten and some written. Rules that said each and every property needed to have its lawn mowed and that it needed to look “tidy.” I sort of agreed with the rules, as they were most likely aimed at forcing the not so tidy people to tidy up. I didn’t like the fact that people were telling me what to do though. I was born (sort of) tidy and the fact that I had some official (especially down in Florida) telling me that I needed to mow the lawn, annoyed me. And in Florida, if you didn’t mow your lawn to a certain height, the city would mow it for you – and charge you a hefty fee (if you didn’t pay, they’d put a lien against your house). This was aggravating because it forced all of us to slip on our Bermuda shorts and, in sync, pull our mower starter ropes to do the deed. Well actually, most people has someone do the lawn for them. It seemed as though I was the only schmuck out there laboring over the ordeal.
Whatever. It doesn’t matter because in both places, I had no soul. All of our lawns looked identical and the neighbors didn’t know the difference. I vowed though, while sitting in Florida, that the next place I lived, I’d be on strike. That I wouldn’t mow the lawn and if anyone told me to do so, I’d rather burn it than have my soul ripped from my chest once more. In the world I remember and enjoy, people can do what they want, especially on their own property. Since when did the neighbors and the town have a vote on the issue? Since when did someone you never met tell you that things should be a certain way? If it ain’t pretty, it’s simply unfortunate that someone lives next to something they don’t care for. They need to get over it and harp on something else in their lives. There, I’ve said it.
It took me a while to actually start the mower here in Maine. I knew the grass would get high and I’d like to eventually walk though it. Tall grass needs to get knocked down or else things turn nasty. If you want to get from one place to another and need to walk through the thick, you’ll most likely acquire some ticks and bugs along the way. But if you think about it, it’s rare that you walk around your entire lawn. Usually, you follow the same paths, day after day. And that’s where I got the idea that instead of mowing our entire lawn, I’d only mow certain spots. Paths to assist me getting around to the places I visit most.
I began mowing a good three weeks after everyone else. Sure, I got funny looks from the few who drive up our road, but after explaining the situation and my stubbornness to them, they smiled. These people up here don’t care anyway. They are quite the opposite of neighborhood folks. I mean, a moose ran by the house yesterday for God’s sake!
I started off mowing a few paths through the grass. One from the shed to the pool gate, another from the pool gate to the garage. Eventually, I had my path system down pat. I had all I needed and I sat back and reveled in the fact that I’d beat the system. I had the tall grass I wanted and I had no ticks on my pants. Things were good.
Well, as it turns out, something began happening a few days and weeks after the grass started growing and after I finished laying out my trails. Flowers began to grow. At first, it was Dandelions and then came the Daisies. Now, we’ve got something that looks like the smaller cousin of the Dandelion and a whole slew of orange/red flowers. They are strikingly beautiful.
Here’s what things have shaped up to look like:
I mean, who knew? Who knew my stubbornness would lead to something I look forward to seeing every morning after I wake up? What a treat it is to see these flowers grow and then spread and then grow some more. It’s quite the sight, I’ll tell you that. It’s sort of like a smaller version of the Poppy field in the Wizard of Oz. Crazy.
Please tell me what you think. Did I go wrong? Is this unintended treat something I should do away with or continue on through the years? I’d say I should keep the flowers and let them get thicker and thicker through every passing day of Spring and Summer.