I depend on my lawn to help me get through a bad day. It’s a tiny lawn but there are so many ways to attack it and not feel badly. Mosquitoes, its only defense, have been dispersed today by winds which approach a terrorism threat of level 2. I used the push mower, my most archaic weapon, to rip up all the dead leaves. I figured they’ve been dead all winter so the possibility of them rising up in protest as zombies was very slight. As I had planned, I arranged the tiny leaf bits into a smiley face on the front lawn. I know I said I would try to draw the face of God but I had a hard enough time trying to make a circle. The wind staged a counterattack, but being somewhat disembodied, it did not know I was counting on that. The smiley face will be somewhat abstract and visible only to me and possibly my roommate who was informed of this since he informed me of something I can not repeat.
At the same time, I have a horrible time throwing away plant starts. If there are two tomato plants in one pot I am supposed to be adult enough to throw one away. I just can’t. I have to buy more soil and more pots and give them away. Once again I am reminded how filthy rich I am in comparison to most people in the world who can’t afford to throw out a tomato start or perhaps would have to throw one out or a child or a horse in order to keep the others alive.
This brings me to one of my all time favorite books, My Antonia, and the famous phrase “We must lighten.” I was born with the energy and survival skills of the peasant brothers who threw an entire wedding party off a sled and to the wolves in order to survive. Yet I now struggle with seedling tomatoes. I keep turning to the earth as if I still had to plant turnips at Tara, then I remind myself it’s not The Great Depression. It’s just “The Something longer and deeper than a recession but can not be named for fear of making it worse.” I may be the only one on my block with a smiley face made of mulch but I bet I’m not the only one having fun on pennies a day. The wolves are closing in, make light!