I just finished mowing the lawn. I love the satisfaction I feel right after I shut the mower’s engine down, push it into the shed, pull my boots off and place them on the shelf in the shed, then savor the feel of the soft even carpet of damp grass under my bare feet as I walk around the yard. There is a distinct pleasure, close to erotic, as the fresh scent fills my lungs while my eyes take in the lines left across the lawn — straight patterns that criss cross each other, a result of my diligence to never mow the same direction twice in a row. Learned as a boy when I mowed lawns for spending money, I discovered that mowing in the same direction every time makes the grass lay down instead of standing up. The lawns I mowed always looked good from the street, earning me more business as the carefully manicured lawns provided the advertisement I needed.
First cut of the season is always horizontal, side to side and parallel to the house. Second cut is always vertical, then corner to corner, then corner to corner in the opposite direction. I may not do anything else to perfection in my yard, but the lawn is as close to perfection as I am going to get.
The walks and driveway are swept, then I take it all in again as I drink a cold bottle of water on the front porch. After my shower, I sneak another peak out the back window, enjoying the crisp lines of the cut again. I know by the next morning, especially during the cool, wet suburban Chicagoland Spring weather, the grass will have already grown enough to mask the perfection of the new cut. Two days later I will be thinking of getting the mower out again.
Geez… I must be getting old….