The dew was drying and the sun was already making Her way up into the sky before I got started on the yard today. I had planned it that way, letting the day heat up, letting the sun rise high, and then, only then, did I get out into the grass and begin to mow. That sounds a little crazy, and it likely is, but I’m starting heat training now, and I have to get used to the heat, build up my immunity to it, and live again in the world of reptiles and mirages. It is time. Summer is here.
The backyard once held about a quarter of an acre of real grass, nice even, green grass, that needed mowing once a week or so. The rest of the backyard is kinda woods but kinda not woods, and it doesn’t need mowing very often, but I do anyway to keep the weeds lower than Tyger Linn’s head. I could blame the Cousins, the Black Plague, but in good truth, Bert was the first dog to dig in the green grass, and Bert knew how to dig. No stranger to excavation he, Bert was a one dog bunker complex. But the Cousins have taken it to another level, straight down and around. Mowing this part of the yard is like doing an appendectomy with a lawn mower.
There are parts of the Black Lab Canyons that will not be mowed with a mower. I’ll have to get into them with a weed eater and maybe napalm, but it’s hard to navigate as long as the grass is as high as it is. There is a sapling growing on one of the westernmost canyons, and I wonder how on earth it managed to find a home there. But Green Life is like that; it doesn’t stop to consider difficulty or impossibilities for it only considers living. Reaching ever upward, digging deeper, drinking rain and never uttering a word, trees live longer than most people ken.
Dust, dust, more dust, and little headway is made through the Black Lab Canyons, but no matter the task, hard work and time together made for an end of it. The sun inches Her way higher into the sky and the heat begins to build. Sweat becomes an insulated layer of wetness between the dust and skin. Safety glasses become blurred, but that is no matter. This is mindless grunt work. This is back and forth rhythm that needs no eyes, ears, mouth or anything other than the feel of the work. This is a harvest of sweat and nothing more. This is to make my two neighbors not feel like they ought to come over and mow the front yard for me.
I ran six miles two days ago and my body is still tired from it. This is the type of work that makes a body tired of repetition, of the uselessness of the work, and the soul numbing tediousness of the act of mowing. But the mind never ceases. I wonder if I could map out Black Lab Canyon, and turn it into the scene of some story, where something is missing in a vastness and someone is looking for it. Scale is the issue here, as large as these holes appear to be, if I write a story about a person lost in Black Lab Canyon, the surface area has to be vast. If someone wanted to get lost in an area that would be impossible to search, Black Lab Canyon has to be big. And perhaps, Black Lab Canyon ought to be underwater as well. Labs like water so why not?
A Mocking Bird comes in on my right field of vision and I watch as it picks up a green caterpillar and flies away again. I’m acutely aware of the wildlife here, even the birds. Sometimes, especially the birds. I posted photos of storks and there were people who had never seen Wood Storks. It occurs to me I have a life that gives me a chance to see animals others only read about. I wish some of these creatures would visit less frequently than they do, but that’s life in the woods; I do not get to decide who comes and goes, except me, and four dogs. Betimes, even that is denied to me. But such is life; living with sentient creatures means you live with their decisions as well as your own.
To live within nature is to understand nature. All of the trappings of human existence are mostly fake, illusions, and little more than those spinning devices that keep people’s minds from becoming more in tune with how things are and how they will always be. The bird, a little late as it were, gets a worm nevertheless, and the bird lives another day yet the worm does not. This is how it should be, as it always has been, as it will be, and even if we wish more worms than birds were eaten, that matters not at all. Nature, and the Universe, balances. We can only observe. We may hope the rabbit gets away from the snake but that’s simple prejudice. In the end enough rabbits will be eaten so snakes may live, or they will not, and snakes will become extinct. Neither nature nor the Universe cares.
I mow until I run out of grass and park the mower in the shed. I have a setting for a story. I have an idea or two from this. Creativity, in the form in which I express myself, comes from the Universe, and no matter how I have to summon it, be it sex or yardwork, the end results are remarkably similar; exhaustion is my drug of choice. Enough stories will be written so some will be incredible or they will not, and I will become extinct. Neither the Universe or Nature cares, and that is as it should be, also. But like the last snake, which has missed the last rabbit, I don’t care either; I will always write.