Saturday, September 18, 2010

mowing the lawn

I mowed the lawn this morning. It has been a really long time since I mowed a lawn, and it took me way back. I was sneaking up on teenhood. My father had just had a heart attack and was in the hospital. His condition was stable, but to a kid, stable was just another word for “not very well.” My dad owned a landscaping/mowing business. Well, to be precise, he had a job with the Union Pacific Railroad, and on the side, he ran a one-man landscaping business. So when he landed in the hospital for weeks, that left his business unattended. It just wouldn’t do to have those people take their business elsewhere so my mother and I attended to mowing lawns. Day after day, I threw all my strength into that work, pushing that lawnmower up and down, up and down. See, in my little head, I somehow felt like I was making an unspoken deal with God, a plea really. I figured if I worked really hard, then God would make my dad well. I worked so hard that one day my mom suddenly made me stop and rest. Apparently, my flushed cheeks and rapid breathing scared her. It was in vain to try to keep me down, though, and I was soon back at it, making that lawnmower save my dad. Well, he did survive that heart attack and was soon convalescing at home.

I hadn’t really thought much about this until this morning. And there I was pushing a lawn mower up and down, up and down again. My dad has been gone a long time now, twenty-four years. As I pushed that lawn mower around today I thought about him, the kind of man he was, how hard he worked, how much he loved, how life treated him. Then my mind drifted to my life, how hard I work, how much I love, how life treats me. I’m a planner, and I had such plans and goals, such vision of how life would proceed. Then Life took over and didn’t stick to the plan, didn’t follow the outline I had so carefully crafted.

After I finished mowing and put the lawnmower away, I grabbed some trimming shears and trimmed away the dead roses from the rosebush. Then I carefully picked a nice open rose, which seemed to be my life to this point; and I picked a barely blooming rose, perhaps my life ahead. I stood looking at that nicely mown lawn, the nice straight lines, and I breathed in the scent of freshly mown lawn. And I felt like I had really accomplished something, and it was more than just mowing the lawn.

1 comment:

Shauntel said...

This is beautiful Mom. I've never heard this story either.

Simply beautiful.

And I'm excited for the Life ahead. :)