This week, as I use my afternoons to mow the lawn for the first time this year, I have realized what it is that feels so good about cutting the grass down. At 6:45 PM, the light is low, and it makes the freshly cut lawn seem like it is nothing more than a glow off the ground.
Freshly cut grass gives the appearance that the Earth itself is green, that it is alive, and growing. It isn't, of course. The Earth beneath the lawn is grey, brown, and black, lurking in the shadow of green life. The Earth is made up of rocks, shit, and dead things.
When I don't mow my lawn, the dead brown of the Earth creeps up the grass, consuming it until it falls down and rejoins the Earth in the autumn. That's a depressing appearance, even in the summer when all is supposed to be bright, the season of the merry grasshoppper.
So I cut my grass to give the appearance of renewal when the time for renewal is well past. I cut my grass to give the appearance that something makes its life from my lawn, something more than a dirty machine reincarnated out of the Earth's dead ore.
My neighbors all do it too, and if I stopped mowing the lawn, what would the neighbors think? I'd be going all dry and brown, like the uncropped blade of grass, ready to drop back into the Earth.
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