Tag Archives: Lawns

The Ultimate Futility: A Well-Mowed Lawn

Cutting grass has always seemed futile to me—a waste of time and effort. I know, I know, you have to keep the yard cut or it looks as though someone has moved off and abandoned their home. You know the thoughts that go through your mind whenever you pass by an overgrown lot. Yea, the ones that wonder what kind of family must live there. Or don’t they care what that plot of grass looks like and how it affects the neighborhood. One of the unspoken rules of having a yard in a subdivision or out in the country is that one must maintain a meticulously mowed lawn.

I must admit that a freshly cut yard has an intoxicating fragrance (unless you’re cultivating wild onions in the midst of your Bermuda blades), and it’s pretty easy on the eyes as well. You know you have a serious purveyor of turf when the mower cuts are on the diagonal or in checkerboards like the outfield of Yankee stadium. These lawn aficionados detest even the slightest hint of a weed in their manicured meadows—so they pull, and dig, and pay big buck to the Lawn Green guy to beat back the incessant invasion of those pesky invaders. Countless dollars are spent amassing mowing paraphernalia and chemical milkshakes of every size and flavor in an endless battle to maintain( a code word in gardening that means to break even with the seemingly endless cycle of green growth). Add to that periodic infestations by grub worms, moles, armadillos, wild hogs, brown spot, and an endless horde of pestilence that delights in dining on your perfectly cut and clipped lawn…Well—you know what I mean.

It just seems futile to me. Since I was a kid, cutting grass seemed like a waste of time and money. And here’s the reason—grass keeps growing. It is incessant in its desire to propagate and flourish. You knock it down with those rotating blades and it bounces right back up and picks up where it left off. By the time you finish your lawn, it is already well on its way to needing cut again in a few days. That, my friend, is why it seems futile. You rake and burn the leaves and you’re done. You can paint a door and the job is finished. You can trim the roses and they’re fine for the season, but the grass never lets up. That’s why I find it pointless—vanity of vanities as the writer of Ecclesiastes so succinctly put it. You can lull yourself into believing you are winning the war, but guess what? In a few short days you will be right back out there wearing out that expensive lawnmower on a foe that cannot be defeated.

There is one consolation, if you feel the same way I do. Fall is in the air and cooler weather is on the way. The only thing other than Round-Up or 2-4-D that stops grass dead in its tracks is Jack Frost. That means I can store the gas cans away and winterize the lawnmower, the battle is over, at least for another season.