I have been consumed this week with one task: mowing. Nine days ago I returned from a trip away from home of more than two weeks. My yard was about ready to be mowed when I left on vacation, and it apparently rained almost every day that I was gone, making the grass grow faster and diminishing opportunities to mow. When I returned on Saturday, June 15th, I found my flower beds swamped with weeds and yard vegetation that was literally knee deep.
My son came over on Monday (a week ago today) to help, and he did manage to get a couple of significant chunks of yard mowed before the belt on his riding mower broke. Tuesday I purchased a push mower (non-self-propelled - I'll never make that mistake again!), and by Wednesday I had the mower put together and began the chore of taming my acres and acres of yard. I mowed at least a couple of hours on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and today - and still have at least at least one more two-hour session ahead of me.
I am sick and tired of mowing! I mow in the mornings, I mow in the heat of the day, I mow in the late afternoons - and the past couple of nights I have even dreamed of mowing! Yesterday afternoon I gave myself a break and went into town and saw the new movie, Jersey Boys. That worked out especially well because last might my dream-mowing had a Four Seasons soundtrack!
Here is Robert Frost's take on mowing. I stand in abject humility before the great New England poet because while I moan and complain about cutting grass with a gas-powered machine, Mr. Frost was mowing his hay with a hand scythe! Clearly he was the better man - in every respect!
by Robert Frost
There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound--
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.