By Curtis Shelburne: Local columnist
I hear that it’s beautiful outside today, though I’ve not had much chance to find out for myself just yet. Lately, any day wind gusts are below 50 mph might easily pass for beautiful.
Yes, the birds are singing. The grass is turning green. And spring is in the air.
It’s really depressing.
You know what all this means, don’t you?
It means that though you’ve been able to take some wicked pleasure in the fact that all your friends with those verdant and hyperactive blue grass/fescue mix lawns have been mowing for a month now, while you were doing something useful like reading a good book, drinking coffee, or riding your motorcycle . . . well, now even your trusty Bermuda grass lawn is giving up and turning green. And that means you, too, will be chained for half a day a week to a lawn mower for the next several months.
Though I bear fruit trees no ill will, I’d sort of been hoping for a late cold spell to set my yard back. Alas, it’s almost time to start setting out plants. And that means dragging out the garden hoses, watering, weeding, weed-eating, etc.
I really like the way a nice green well-kept lawn looks. I like to grow plants. More accurately, I like to watch God grow the plants we both try to water.
I love the way a freshly mown lawn looks and smells. I’m still basking in the glow from the request one young lady made a year or two ago. She and her fiance (strangers to us) had driven by, and then turned around, and she asked if they could have some engagement pics taken in our yard. I’m still amazed. I can’t believe she could drive so well, obviously blind with no seeing eye dog at the wheel. No one will be asking to take pictures in our yard this week, I’m quite sure.
I know. Before the season’s over, the yard won’t look all that bad. It’ll look best right after each mowing. But that’s what bugs me. “Each” mowing.
When I fix something that’s broken, I like to think it might stay fixed for a nanosecond or two. Once all this springtime green machine really gets going, my lawn stays “fixed” for barely a week, then here we go again.
Okay, I admit it.
Once we get into the yard slave routine, I really do take some pleasure in the green grass and colorful flowers. I like to flop down in the green grass and look at clouds with my granddaughters.
It’s getting started that’s hard. Each year, I get dragged to the lawn mower and the garden hose kicking and screaming. Winter is so winsome. Fireplaces. Hot tea. Sweaters. Snow. Christmas. Books.
It’s not all wasted time. I end up writing sermons and columns in my head while I chase the lawn mower.
Life is always precious and beauty is never a waste. Our black-clad Puritan ancestors were whistling in the wind. God’s color and joy always win in the end. And that I like.