Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Grass Beneath My Feet

"The grass so little has to do,
      A sphere of simple green.
 With only butterflies to brood,
      And bees to entertain."

Emily Dickenson penned this verse perfectly as an homage to the sprawling lawn that lies lazily out there amid the riot of activity of which only high summer can claim.  Soaring temperatures and humidity that's thick as pea soup bring on the tempers of plump, red tomatoes growing strong and now beginning to burst out of their cages.  Orange butterfly weed clamors for its place among the gangs of zinnias and bee balm (monarda) now out in force and reaching for the sky, hoping to catch a winged creature or two.  Solitary Golden sunflowers are the big guys of the bunch and can easily elbow their way up through the flowers and herbs arranged with style throughout garden borders while keeping their eye on the emerald turf, just in case the lowly grass decides to overstep its bounds. Even the calmer deep blue and purple blooms of the garden shutter at the thought of uninvited wildlife stopping by for a light snack before the rabbits and chipmunks--uninvited as well-- return for dinner.

Grass seems to be the only growing thing out there content to let anyone just clip,it, pull it and walk all over it.  In fact, in the language of flowers, the meaning of grass signifies submissiveness, welcoming the flutter of wings and trampling of (devil) deer hooves and children's bouncing balls and slip 'n' slides.  High summer allows the growing grass to slow down to a crawl, content to please the bees, tickle the garden snakes' bellies, give refuge to the toads and pad my bare feet while I drag the hoses to plants crying out for water so they can keep their bragging rights to beautiful petals and sun-kissed colors in jewel tones.

The grass--well the grass knows it's place by summer.  It doesn't mind its sun-bleached split ends or its seedy golden locks being cropped and combed by zero-turn mowers and fearsome weed wackers and gladly offers itself to the comfort of beasts, birds and golfers, alike.  Never discriminating, grass welcomes with open arms, clover, dandelions, thistle, weeds and wildflowers of all kinds  Rolling over sunny hills and resting in shady dales, grass provides a perfect anchor of tranquility to balance out the heated dog days of high summer.  I'm thinking that we could learn a little something from grass, as I walk upon it in my own yard weeding and watering, or admiring the view as I walk along a country road.