Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Making Connections

     When you care for a place, as in physically take care of a place, you become intimately familiar with it and connected to it. When we were young, we knew the details and nuances of our toys. I knew my Barbie's bad knee, each grass stain on her party dress (from throwing her in the air), the dent in my bicycle fender where I hit it with a hammer, and the place where my baby doll lacked proper stuffing. Touching and playing with our toys each day made us intimate with them. Later, in our first apartments or homes, we knew the few belongings we owned very intimately. We were too familiar with the one and only saucepan we had to cook with, we knew which chair wasn't safe for guests, and which floor boards creaked when we walked a fussy baby back and forth at night. By dusting and carefully handling our few knick knacks, we were reminded of their origins and gently placed them just so in order to enjoy them in our home. There was the porcelain bird from grandmother and the pottery from summer vacation. We cleaned and handled them week after week, every time we dusted, over and over again, year after year until we knew them with our eyes closed. Even in the nightly routine of absentmindedly washing our dishes, we connected with these inanimate plates and cups by handling them just so every day. It's easy to own "stuff". It's the caring for it that makes or breaks the relationship we have with our stuff.
     I find this same thing to be true of our yards and outdoor property. We've owned a few houses over the course of our marriage. Some have had small yards and others had acres and we always cared for them ourselves.  We landscaped them and groomed them, season after season. I learned each swell and contour of the lawns, each dip and tree root, each soggy or rocky area, and what would or wouldn't grow in any given spot. I've connected with each property but one and enjoyed making improvements on most. I love planting and growing things even when challenged by failure. I also enjoy the regular maintenance and grooming of the gardens. (Except when it's hot and muggy.) We are fortunate to live in a geography where we have four seasons. The changing landscape makes it new and beautiful with each changing season and we get to know and appreciate its beauty all over again.
     I was happy to have the time and good weather to mow the lawn today. I decided to mow not only the yard but the front and side field as well. We usually leave it uncut for the farmer to make hay but, in the fall I like to mow the field grass short in case we have snow later on. The short grass makes for better snow cover. and there's a nice gentle slope on the field that makes a good sledding hill. So, on this beautiful fall day, I connected with our yard and land by mowing up one side of it and down the other, around and around. I felt the dips and gullies, the rocks and soggy spots. With each turn of the mower, a new vista opened before me and I fell in love with this land all over again. I felt like I had been apart from it for a while and I was greeting it anew. I took in the aromas of cut grass and dried leaves. I felt the sun on my face and watched sun patches light up the distant mountains. I loved our property today and it loved me back. I groomed it and cared for it and in return it renewed my spirit. I recalled the day we bought it and how I felt it was a generous gift from God, much more than I deserved. It belongs to us only for a short while, and today, for this moment, I was so glad.

 The Maple and Viburnum
         In April...

...and October 

Across the field toward the neighbor's

The sky was amazing today. All photos are unaltered and naturally beautiful : ).

1 comment:

  1. Your home land is so serene and beautiful - just like this post. I could just feel myself mowing along with you.