Are you familiar with the saying "the hurrier I go the behinder I get”? I feel like there are times that no matter how fast I go, there are far too many balls in the air to catch them all. I had sort of an epiphany today related to this.
First, I will give you a little backstory: as you may know by now, I live on a farm. Not an animal farm currently, but it’s a farmhouse with barns and some acreage, and lawn…lots and lots of lawn! Which, we care for ourselves. So, understand that when I moved here over 20 years ago, the meadows had been maintained for animal hay, cut several times annually. At that time, the meadows came pretty close to the farmhouse, which had a small shambling lawn mowed with an antique reel mower, whenever someone bothered to cut it. Picture long grass, weeds, and dandelions.
Then I arrived, ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle the process of turning this place into a home. First the house had to be made livable. It was currently functioning more like a camp with no insulation, a Coleman stove and antique fridge in the kitchen, wood heat and kerosene lamps. I had to create a place for my three horses in an old barn that had mostly fallen in. In addition to the necessary projects, the landscape had to be refined a bit to suit my taste. I am a bit overzealous with my outdoor spaces, being an avid gardener and lover of the outdoors.
I worked really hard - I had some help, I hired some help. Friends and family were the backbone of getting the work done. I lived here alone initially and in my free time (what a laugh that is!), I would get on the rickety White ride-on mower I bought for $125.00 and work on hacking back the meadows that encroached on the buildings. I wanted to look out and see the contours of the land, create some breathing room around the house.
I discovered that this late-day mowing was actually very cathartic for me. It was a time for me to think about what I wanted to accomplish next and to really take stock of the property. I learned the dips and valleys, the wet areas, and the high spots and certainly where all the rocks were. It was my alone time, but I never felt selfish about it because I was accomplishing something. This was when I discovered I love to mow.
So fast forward to present day, the farm now has about 5 acres of mowed lawn. I told you; I love to mow! It just kept expanding over the years as the property evolved. More garden here, add a pond there, a bridge over the brook, a beautiful white gate at the barn entrance, all needing the backdrop and access that a lush green lawn creates.
Oh, the other thing I should mention is that I am obsessive about my lawn! Not about the type of grass or how green it is, I don’t use any chemicals or fertilizer on the grass, so it does house clover, dandelions, and other weeds - I’m fine with that. My obsession is about keeping it cut at a certain height. I really hate it when the grass clippings sit on the lawn. It makes me crazy - just ask my family. The clippings clump up and turn the grass underneath yellow - this is not ok!
Sometimes at the height of the season it needs to be cut twice a week. We’re talking 4 hours…. twice a week. It’s a lot! Honestly though, nothing looks better to me than a freshly mowed lawn with the stripes all lined up and no wayward clippings. It’s the perfect backdrop for the terraces, gardens, fruit trees and the little white dog who runs around this property.
Back to the epiphany…
My schedule has been a little slammed lately with a new antique & gift shop opening on the property, spring cleaning the gardens, traveling and keeping Cummings & CO. Real Estate moving forward. So, the lawn has suffered. The early season raking of leaves and frequent mowing to keep the length short has gone out the proverbial window.
Today - it was long! Starting out on the mow after being away for a week and coming home to a few rainy days was a bit dismaying. Even raising the deck higher than normal I was leaving trails of grass clippings all over. I was starting to fret - this is a big weekend coming up. Collected, LTD is opening in the barn and people will be arriving to shop and to see the property and gardens.
As I was mowing down by the barn, I was admiring the stone wall that Chris built, standing so tall and straight between the green grass and blue sky. The apple blossoms are lacy and white. I passed the lilac bush out back, that was a tiny wisp when we moved here, now taller than me and in full bloom - it actually made me smile. The pond, while not quite in its summer glory, is inky black against the green landscape with water from the mountainside running down over the rocks to keep it full.
There I am, riding around on the lawnmower, smiling and enjoying the various parts of the property for their own beauty. The epiphany I suppose is the grass is going to grow no matter what - it will eventually get cut. Meanwhile, I have to remember to take a breath and enjoy my surroundings. Life is beautiful. No point in stressing over the length of the grass!