From the window, I watch while a river of rain streams down from dark, grey clouds, soaking the lawn, which grows like a meadow. Since the beginning of spring, it has rained on most days— for what seems like an eternity. According to the weather report this morning, there’s more rain on the way.
So, last night, I said a prayer to the Good Lord, asked him to send a gift of sunshine, a few dry days. He must have heard my request. The rain has subsided, gone away,almost on cue, like a miracle. And the sunshine now peers through the window.
But the grass has grown as tall as the birch trees. So, I’ll have to get down on my hands and knees, say another prayer, ask the Good Lord to make sure the jalopy lawn mower, stored away in the garage, wrapped in a spider’s web, will start, cut the grass. Otherwise, I’ll have to purchase a new mower-and it’s not in the budget.
I remove the mower from the garage and dust it off. I pull the cord, not once but three times. The engine sputters, smokes, then starts. I feel a sense of relief. I push the mower through the field of grass, both front and back yards, panting and sweating from the effort. Several times, the mower conks out. I must turn it over and clean out the wet grass, so the blade will work. Then I pull the cord, and the engine starts. I begin pushing the lawn mower again, often lost in thought. Several times, I sneeze from the smell of the grass. While mowing, I begin to daydream about watching the baseball game, reading a newly purchased book, going for a jog. To eliminate the boredom, I listen to up-tempo rock music on my portable music player, songs by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Rolling Stones.
Mowing the lawn is a mindless task, like stacking boxes in a warehouse. It’s a task I don’t like completing, but I must do it. Otherwise the grass will grow and grow. Otherwise, the neighbors will complain. Otherwise, they’ll think I’m a lazy slob.
Mowing the lawn takes more than 30 minutes. After the workout, I sit and sip a cold beer, feel a sense of accomplishment, but don’t look forward to the next time I’ll have to take out the mower from the garage and push it across the front and back lawn.