Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hard to Mow the Grass

It's is Sunday morning and the grass is well past ankle deep and shaggy as Ella and I play "Pitch and Catch" in the front yard. But it is hard to mow the grass now that I'm a Dad, especially early in the spring. The backyard is covered in little flowers. Violets identical to the ones on the dress she is wearing. The tiny blooms that as a two year old she gathered in tiny hand fulls. She cupped them to her nose to sigh in rapture. Buttercups that proclaimed her sweetness when held beneath her chin. Tall spindly flowers she calls Daisies whose blossoms are smaller than a dime with white petals as fine as her eye lashes. To my child the back yard is a Garden graced with all that word can offer.
And then there are dandelions and the hummingbirds. At a lecture about being good friends of hummingbirds we learned dandelion seed tufts are an important to the construction of their nests. They help hold the other materials together. We know now that they fly thousands of miles a year and always remember where they have been, who was kind with bottles of syrup and soft trumpet shaped flowers. They will return every year. I would love for them to each become a regular visitor so it seems I should work to promote a supply of natural nesting materials. Ella will help in this effort, seeding the world one puffball at a time. The tufts float through the air like the animated musical notes whistled from pursed lips.
On my way to the storage shed I pass our honeysuckle bush. There was one in the back yard of my child hood home. The boughs swept into the lawn like the crest of a wave leaving a curved hollow cave just boy sized. I loved to hide there and pull the flowers inner string to release the sweet drop of nectar within. I fill the mower with gas with little enthusiasm. It had quit running at the end of last years mowing season, but I hoped It would just work long enough to keep the neighbors from revolting in reaction to my sloth. To my chagrin it roars to life. Perhaps it was just tired in October. I let the self propelled front wheel drive help drag the machine  towards the front yard where I traditionally start this effort. When I reach the deck I turn to look behind me and stop in my tracks. Laughing out loud. The mower has merely temporarily pushed the "Daisies" over and they stand tall once more. The violets have only been topped and countless purple and blue flowers lay in the swath where I have just passed. It seems that a 250 pound man with a 6 horsepower rotary knife can only claim limited dominion over the beautiful things that yield and persist. 
I am so Happy.