|The lawn-mower shed|
By Steve Siciliano
When I opened the shed door our dog Ellie Mae shot past me and began hunting. I share the space in that old shed with the chipmunks and squirrels. I stow my shovels, rakes and mower on the floor and they hoard their walnuts above the sagging wallboard ceiling. Barb and I talk about replacing the shed and we probably should. It’s hardly worth putting more paint on the dry-rotted boards and there are a few spots where the moss-covered shingles aren’t keeping the rain out. But I kind of like the way the old shed looks, and I really don’t mind sharing it with the critters.
After backing the lawn tractor out I lit a cigar. I like to take my time mowing the lawn. Always rushing through life can wear you down and as I grow older I’m finding that being in a state of non-hurriedness is the best way to approach things. I could certainly mow the lawn faster. I could zip around the yard intent only on getting the job done. I could careen around the one-acre lot keeping one eye on the job at hand and the other on what needs to be done later. But it’s impossible to just be when you’re not living in the present. And when you’re always focused on the future you tend not to notice things.
That day while cutting along the stand of trees on the edge of the back yard I noticed the explosion of pink and white flowers on the wild blackberry bushes. I thought about past Julys when I plucked ripe berries from my slow moving perch. To the left where there’s a stand of bamboo I observed how much taller the new shoots had grown in only a week.
After putting the mower back in the shed I went in the house and looked through the window at the fresh mown lawn. “Sure takes you a long time to cut the grass,” Barb said looking up from her book.
“Yes,” I replied. “It sure does.”