A Little Grass is Good

“It’s blowin’ in the wind,” says the Bearded One, and I know as well as he does that if we wait too long, it’ll be hell to push through.  I usually mow, just because of the exercise, but I’ve been cooking all morning and want to sit.  Mowing takes about 20 minutes, and the smell of the cut grass in the sunshine is intoxicating.

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I sit on the deck and pet each animal in turn.  Sweet Tart the chicken, who continues to heal nicely from her dog bite wound, is as insistent as Ruby.  And Garfield loves on everyone and everything in sight.

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Schmidt is our antique mower’s name, because that’s the name of the nice man I bought it from four years ago after seeing it advertised on Craigslist.  It has a plaid catcher and a wooden handle, and is more than 50 years old.

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The Bearded One just dragged it out from under the house and is mowing for the first time this year.  “The first cut is the deepest” goes the song, and we’re mowing a good three weeks earlier than last year.

The sun shimmers on the blades like water.  All three animals bite at the slender grass, working their tongues and beaks.  The Bearded One whirrs past.

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“We don’t water or fertilize it,” I explain later to a friend online who is surprised we have a lawn.  “We let ours go brown and die each August.  And it keeps the dust down.”  Which is all true.

But my deeper truth is that, in the spring, I crave our little patch of soft Kentucky blue grass between the deck and hoophouse on the back side of the house.

It’s full of moss, which we also love.

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We harvest lots of moss from our forest, pulling it up in big sheets for transplanting into moss gardens at different places.

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The only place we fight moss is on the roof, and sprinkling laundry soap up there does the trick.  The moss in the grass is neon green and fills in all the dirt places.

The Bearded One kept hurting his shoulder starting our ancient motorized lawnmower —

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— the rope-pull gizmo locked up mid-pull every fourth or fifth try — and I hated the noise, so we gave it to Virge the village mechanic and got Schmidt.  Our lawn tractor could cut the grass, too, but we took that attachment off long ago.

Our lawn slopes gently downhill to the biggest circle garden where the new blueberry bushes are budding and the rhubarb is up.

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The broccoli, cabbage, and radish seedlings in the hoophouse are up, too.

The Bearded One has finished the patch in front of me now, and he empties the catcher into the compost pile, which is still in the shade and cold.

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Here at the Equinox, as we hand winter over to the Southern Hemisphere, the sun is just making it above the surrounding forest.

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Suddenly Ruby nose-dives into the sweet just-cut grass.  She rolls on her back, flopping and rubbing and clawing.

Garfield flits by then, and he, too, plows into the grass headfirst, turning to show his tummy.

Sweet Tart’s tush twitches as she marches down the slight incline, clucking and burbling, and I can’t stand it another second.  I want to eat the greenness, but lying on top of it will have to do.

I crawl off the deck on my hands and knees and finger my way into the blades.  I dig my nails into the rooty mesh beneath the soft strands of freshly cut grass, and then, closing my eyes but still seeing the sun, I press my spine into the earth.

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13 responses to “A Little Grass is Good

  1. Ahhhh…..Lying in the grass with the sun as a blanket…..great blog! I can smell the freshly mowed lawn 🙂 LOVE The pic of Ruby and Garfield….

  2. Evocative and textured.

  3. Christine Widman

    I’m a grass girl too.
    Mowing the lawn was one of my favorite chores as a 10 year old spending the summer with my grandparents. Along with hanging clothes on the line.
    With both there is the intoxication of scent. Sun on cut grass. Sun on wet clothes.
    Here there is no grass to cut but I hang out my sheets almost every day.
    Little lilts to my heart:
    The photo of Garfield & Ruby in color blending love.
    The drawing as of the farmlet handing “winter over to the Southern Hemisphere” (so exquisitely phrased).
    And you, grass girl, pressing your spine into the earth.
    xoxo,
    C

    • Ah, Christine, nothing actually dries outside here, as you know. But I too remember my grandmother’s laundry line in Helena, Montana, and what a lovely wash she could hang. She hung them in the cellar/basement in the winter. Thank you for your faithful commenting over the seasons, my soul friend.

  4. I adore moss and you have some gorgeous specimens on your property :). I get sad when I think of our lawn BUT the rain came right on cue…it was “Vernal Equinox arrives and BAM a thunder storm with a whole day of rain” instant gratification :). If it stays cold, we might even light Brunhilda tomorrow! The dogs didn’t even get a walk today it rained so much and I am totally and utterly overjoyed from the bottom of my soul. I am as excited and soulfully happy about your spring :). Gorgeous green and there hasn’t been a more lovely photo taken this year than the shot of Ruby and Garfield :). Sweet Tart looks very content and at home and also very docile. She seems to be much happier out with you than in with the other chooks. Your last paragraph is the song of spring…the aching need to connect back with the earth without getting sodden and mud covered in the process and knowing that the earth is ready to be tended and is actively calling for attention :). I love todays post and I love our rain! I have a love fest going at the moment 🙂

    • Yay for the rain in Tasmania! I, too, am excited for your change of season. It’s a new awareness for me to think daily of the Southern Hemisphere, how polar opposite we are, yet rotating around each other. I love you, too, Fran. And may you fire up Brunhilda today with gusto!

      • Gusto and plans of making some serious sourdough and kefir things. Steve broke the kefir drought the other day. I had amassed over 2 litres of the stuff! It is thick, unctuous, amazingly probiotic and like a very creamy soft cheese and I asked him if I could put some in his quiche (I guess he figured that it might be safe as I admitted to putting it in all of his sourdough cakes that he loves 😉 ) and when he tasted it he said “can’t tell any difference go right ahead and use it!” So now I have visions of actually being able to use the kefir as an ingredient rather than something hidden where he can’t detect it ;). The sourdough cakes are amazing. I haven’t ever been able to make a satisfactory carrot cake before and the starter gives me a fantastic light cake with amazing keeping qualities. Steve is very fussy (much as the B.O. is very “careful” about his health, Steve is very “careful” about what goes in his mouth!) and to be able to get probiotics into him willingly is amazing. The dogs are more suspicious but throw some creamcheese frosting on a carrot cake and they are both lining up for a try ;). I am SO happy this morning! Yesterday I couldn’t read my RSS Feed reader because our internet connection was playing up and a thunderstorm took out our power and made the PC shut down and it insisted on doing a 1 hour self diagnostic :(. I was a different person without my 3 hours of blissful trawling and listening to music and I don’t want to revisit that person if I don’t have to! How I have changed regarding early mornings! I used to laugh at people who got up earlier than 7.30am but now I am one of those weirdo’s ;). Here’s a HUGE hug for that gorgeous post Christi… if you could bottle your bliss over your equinoxal spring you could sell it for millions to happiness starved rich people and make a killing. That photo of Ruby and Garfield got stolen and hidden away so that I can use it on my desktop when we get nearer to our own spring and the bliss of this cold wet weather is starting to wane (although I am a winter baby and adore the cold and the wet 😉 ). I will be living vicariously through your words as you taste and explore your spring and summer. Who knows, with the way that the world is going at the moment Olalla might just get a nice extended summer and you might be able to grow an incredible array of veggies like we did. I didn’t know that I shouldn’t even bother to try to grow eggplants (as a newbie) and that chilli’s take AGES to ripen but here I am with an abundance of both in our small season garden with the season apparently stretching on WAY past it’s use by date…there are good things and bad things about everything and I guess that extends to global warming as well…it just started to rain again at 4.25 and I am smiling…join me in a vernal happiness moment 🙂

  5. Always a breath of fresh air to come by and visit your blog Christi –THANKS!

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