Why do older people like to cut grass so much,

the twenties-something girl wondered.

That is all my parents seem to do–cut the grass

and worry about cutting the grass.

There is so much more to do,

why spend so much time on this one thing?


I look out at my husband who is cutting the grass.

He spent the morning trimming with a weed trimmer.

He will spend the evening doing more trimming.

Now he is just cutting.


I suppose the girl is right: why do we spend so much time on grass?

Through her eyes, grass is not something important.

It should not take so much of our time.


I try to explain:

if the grass is not mowed, it grows tall. Weeds take over, go to seed.

Little tree seedlings will dig in, spread branches. Briars will ramble underfoot.

Snakes feel at home; ticks and other undersirables too.

The girl shrugs; she is not convinced.


I look out at our expanse of green, neatly trimmed flowerbeds and vegetable gardens

with their electric fences to keep the deer and rabbits at bay.

What does the girl know, after all,

tending to life’s unimportant issues–

cutting grass, fixing fence and pulling weeds are tasks to be done

and done again, and again, and again, with no thanks

and no reward except in the early mornings when we sit out on our porch

rocking gently and sipping coffee

and looking at this thing of beauty we created and maintain;

this little piece of the world that is ours,

where we can at least have some control,

and what we will one day pass on to others who might enjoy

the quiet lawn and abundant flowers and fruits of our labor.


It is this the tending of a piece of earth, the loving of the soil

that makes the country person stand aside from his urban counterpart.

Each creates art the other may not comprehend or appreciate-

one with concrete and glass and steel, the other

the humbler materials of earth, plant, water.

To the impatient young the slow building of a garden

is nothing compared to a soaring skyscaper, an arching bridge.

To the old it is the creation of a humble masterpiece,

their gift to God, small as it may be.

And that is why we cut the grass.



About grannysu

storyteller, writer, poet, gardener, countrywoman
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s