I love green grass. The way it looks after its cut. The smell. The feel. I usually cut it in a straight line one week and diagonally the next, just so that nice “crisscross” pattern can be seen.
Years ago I taught my sons how to keep the lines straight and the yard looking uniform. They learned to do it in my yard and then worked for other people in the neighborhood keeping yards cut “just right” and looking nice. Back then I would sow new seed, use the proper fertilizer and work to keep our yard looking great. (read – better than the neighbors)
There was, however, one spot in my yard that used to bother me – a place where I had trouble getting the grass to grow. It was across the driveway from our basketball goal just where the foul line should have been. When my three sons played ball – and that was all the time – they would stand there to inbound the ball or shoot foul shots. “Stand on the sidewalk!” I would yell to no avail. So, there was a bald spot across from the goal where the dust would fly, the rain water puddled and the grass refused to grow.
There was another spot near the top of our driveway. It was the spot where the batter would stand when facing the pitcher, hoping to knock the ball over the front yard fence and down the street. “Stand on the driveway!” I would say, “Please, look at what you are doing to the yard!”
Then one day I walked up that driveway looking at those spots and wondering how I would ever get grass to grow there. I thought I could hammer stakes in the ground, tie string to them and plant grass in the middle. But then, I thought, they would just kick them out, or worse, fall and be impaled on them! I thought about extending the pavement there – but, figured they would just stand further out and still kill the grass. I remember thinking, “Why can’t they see what they are doing to the yard?”, “How long will it be before I can get grass to grow there?” And then I heard the Lord whisper to me that grass would grow there someday. And I would have more to time “putter in the yard”, cut the grass any way I wanted and it would grow right up the edge of the driveway, thick and green. But, more importantly, the sound of boys in competition in my yard or on the court would be gone. No more baseball games in the front yard. No more games of H.O.R.S.E. on the driveway. No more coaching at the Y. No more school books on the table or drawings on the refrigerator – but, my grass was going to look beautiful.
That house and yard are long gone now. We moved “to the country” many years ago. My yard is much bigger now and I keep it cut by myself. I don’t sew a lot seed or fertilize – it cost too much and I’m afraid I’ll just have to mow it twice a week if I feed it. The sounds of competition in our yard have changed over the years. The sound of boys playing has faded. The sounds of a curly haired blonde who used to sing her heart out while making “dirgers” (dirt burgers) and other concoctions in the play house I built her are silent as well. Now my yard is full of the sounds of my granddaughters at play. Where there was once baseball and basketball games, now there are croquet tournaments and roller bat. The yard doesn’t make that much difference to me anymore, I have a different perspective on it now – and I sure appreciate the “sounds of play” out there – more than ever.