4:00 pm on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon. About 70 degrees out. Perfect time to mow the lawn. I’ve been getting grief from Jill, my 16 year old about the length of it, and our usual lawn mowing kid hasn’t started the season yet.
So I gas up, check the oil, and get into it.
The front lawn looked like a beautiful, lush meadow. The grass was ten days tall and wildflowers were everywhere. The center island had its flowering bushes in full bloom and the dogwood tree was incredible.
But of course conditioning kicked in. No one wants to have the only house in the neighborhood with the overgrown lawn. So I started in on the front yard.
There were two patches that had the most beautiful purple wildflowers. They come around every year about this time. They last three or four weeks, then die off.
That is, they last unless they get mowed over along with the rest of the grass.
Each year I watch the bees come by and pollenate these wildflowers. Sure, there are plenty of other flowers for the bees. Lilacs are also in full bloom right now, not to mention thousands of other varieties.
But these are my flowers. They’re on my lawn.
It was an easy choice. As carefully as I could, I mowed around the patches of wildflowers. I even cut into them slightly where there was an opening. I tilted the lawnmower up in certain places to get to patches of grass in the middle the flowers.
I treated them with the TLC that something wild and beautiful deserves.
And I looked back at my work when I was finished. A very nice, neat, “proper” front yard. Fits in nicely with the rest of the neighborhood. There’s something to be said for order; compliance to the standards of those around you…when you aren’t compromising your own principles.
And I looked at the brilliant bursts of purple. No doubt some of the neighbors won’t be in love with the “weeds” I left in the yard. No one else in the neighborhood seems to have those blooms on their lawn.
But the processes of nature, the way we allow the natural world to flourish around us…for me it was more important than falling in line.
I’ll take the annoyance of a few folks. To see something express its beauty and its purpose, and to play a role in allowing it to unfold…it’s magic.
We have people in our lives who are those purple flowers. They don’t do things the way the rest of us do. They don’t stay in line. They upset what we think is the proper balance of things.
But they bloom so beautifully.
And they feed a process we may not see, but is more important than any simple conformity.
Yeah, you can cut them out of your yard. You can wall yourself off from their wild, uninhibited nature.
Or you can delight in the God force they have to express.
And you can get swept up in it and become a “wild thing” yourself.
I know what my choice is.