Mowing the Grass
It has been four weeks since I last mowed the backyard. Weekends out of town, teaching workshops, and attending continuing education have kept me from getting outside. My poor dogs are shoulder deep in grass, and reluctant to travel anywhere except around the edges where their paths of least resistance are clearly visible, red dirt peeking out between swaths of tall thick grass.
Using the “piece of junk” push mower that replaced the gas powered mower early in the summer, I am sweating. Although the weather is cooler, the grass is tall, and thick, and in many places, the uneven ground is invisible under the green carpet.
Jarring along, I begin to notice that there are several types of grass in the yard. Some are thin, fine blades, sparsely placed, and easily cut. Others have wide, tough blades that are clumped into tightly bound clusters which resist the mower. There are tall, round spindles that fall over easily, but bounce back up shortly after the mower passes. Each type of grass requires a different approach. The thin grass gives way with a single pass, and needs only the slightest effort. Clumped, thick grass requires many passes in a variety of directions to fully be controlled. The tall spindles completely evade the mower, and must be pulled by hand.
Thinking about how eliminating habitual movement patterns is like cutting the different types of grass, it is amazing to find my level of engagement in cutting the lawn taking on my approach to Awareness Through Movement lessons. Pushing the mower through the yard I ask, what is the easiest, most efficient way to approach cutting this particular grass? How do I respond to the increased challenges of thicker, more resistant clumps? Is there a way to approach the tall spindles that is more effective? How smoothly can the mower pass over the uneven ground if the speed of movement is reduced?
Before I am ready to end the exploration, I realize the grass is completely cut, and it is time to stop, for now. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so I’m sure there will be another opportunity to learn more, later.