Thursday, August 9, 2012

Keeping Up Appearances

It's easy to obscess about the triviality of downed trees in the yard. 
Normally this time of year, after letting the wildflowers self-sow for next year in our inner compound, MM usually decides to spend the money for fuel and mow the "lawn."  If a only  for a moment, I confess we've both enjoyed the interludes of groomed pasture grass.  It reminds us we're  entirely removed from residential by-laws that dictate appearances. 
So, this year?  Well, it's impossible to mow a carpet of sticks with grass blades growing through them, thanks to the Big Wind.  Besides, it's too hot to devote hours to stick removal during this soggy, sweltering weather.  And we can do that later when October nips and we require warmth generated by something other than sweating under a ferocious sun.  Logical, yes.  But I have to keep reminding myself that it's OK.
 Remember Thoreau and Walden Pond?  He commented on many things, was often cynical and rude.  But when he wrote about the value of getting firewood and letting it warm you three times (once when you cut it, again when you gather and stack it and finally when it's brought into the house and burned..) I find myself ready to accept that gift.
 Being able to prioritize among the rules.  Waiting until the niggling frosty days of autumn suggest a need to get busy tidying the mess here.  It takes discipline, though,  as I watch our neighbors' yards resume their stateliness, while ours--usually at least pretty--withers and dries both overhead as well as on the ground.
We humans tend to fixate on (and never question) the often ridiculous mandates society imposes upon us.  We are bound by "rules" that suffocate.  I remember visiting one home when I was out selling Pampered Chef where the family had been fined by the residential committee of their sub-division for washing their car in their yard (no water restriction at the time).  It was "uncouth" to be conducting any kind of visible  honest labor in that gated community.  
Me?  I'd rather spend precious dollars on things that matter.  A manicured lawn is not one of them.  And strawberry ice cream cones in the sky are free. 


  1. Oh how nice to read your blog. Your sky photo is spectacular. Your words, "We humans tend to fixate on (and never question) the often ridiculous mandates society imposes upon us. We are bound by "rules" that suffocate" are so true. I have let about a two acre plot return to nature and even though I knew it was a good thing to do I had some background noise in my mind trying to remind me to play by society's rules. But I overcame the blathering mind and now have a beautiful natural world for the wild critters. So good to hear your reinforcing words to do what is right by ones conscience rather than the noisy voice of the fake society. So good to know that you are still active on your blog -- barbara

  2. Barbara! I'm delighted to hear from you, girl! Thank you so much! I was gone all day yesterday. Did my annual contribution of doing handspinning for the fiber group on opening day of the State Fair of West Virginia. I'll bet it's been a hot summer for you, too, this year. Congratulations on being able to ignore those "voices" that demand conformity! I hope your family is doing well. Thanks for all your wonderful posts. I do love Folkways Notebook! Did you complete the projects you were working on? And I am assuming you have not yet sold your home in KY. A good friend of mine yesterday said, "Don't ever sell your farm, Elora." That,for me, was reinforcing. Conventional wisdom would suggest that MM and I are "too old" to keep playing this farm game. Not true! Thanks for your friendship!


  3. Hi, good to see you back! I'm sorry about your weather troubles. I've been through three hurricanes and a tornado, so I can relate. I think you're smart to let your lawn go. We mow ours every two weeks or so (by choice), but I must say, it is a huge job.

    That is a stunning picture---you're such a fine photographer.