Mowing the lawn yesterday (after a three week bout of laziness that resulted in the creation of a new ecosystem in my yard) got me thinking bout why it is that I actually enjoy doing it. It isn't exactly mentally engaging, it's repetitive and it uses up time I could be spending napping. In theory, this should be torture of a near taking-the-trash-3-feet-out-onto-the-back-porch degree, but I actually enjoy it. Stranger still, I'm not alone in this. I've asked around and quite a few people LIKE mowing their lawn. Why?
I'm not going to fall for that typical crap of the peace of working the land. The simple, repetitive nature of the act creating a Zen-like state? Then why aren't factories across America producing the most enlightened workers on the face of the planet? Yes, there is much to be said about any work where you can see immediate results but I can see the same kind of immediate results cleaning and I'll be damned if I ever do THAT willingly. I would say that they are all bullshitting me, but the mania with which some people approach lawn-care stands as proof against that.
I can only go with what know from myself and just assume that it applies to everyone. If it worked for Ayn Rand then it has to be a good approach, right? My reason is simple: control. Any moron can lay absolute waste to nature. Little kids burn ants with magnifying glasses and my own local P&G has been dumping all kinds of marvelous plant and animal killers into the ground and water supply for generations now. I could easily turn my lawn into an easily manageable wasteland of flat concrete, but where would the FUN be in that?
With my grass, I get to allow it to live its life as if it is a free being of nature but only in the ways that I wish it to. First off, only the types of plants and grass that I deem worthy are permitted to survive in my yard. Anything so common and unappealing as Dandelions or Clover fall beneath the wrath of my chemical doom. Further, those plants are only to exist in the places I want them to. I will go to any extent to destroy an uppity Yucca that has the nerve to pop up outside of its designated position. But here is the best part, where the mowing comes in: I let them live, but only so long as they don't have the nerve to grow higher that a couple inches. It's like random imprisonment of an entire species.
The exceptionally ingenious and cruel take it a step further by actually encouraging rampant growth. They feed their grass and other plants only the best food possible. Food that is designed to promote full, luscious growth. Then they cut those little bitches down.
An uncle of mine takes it a step further by growing grass and other plants where they don't even belong naturally. He lives in the desert and spends an inordinate amount of money on soil, water, fertilizer, etc. Then, once all of that begins to work its magic, the choppin' starts and it is truly something to behold.
The Glory of it all is astounding. Nothing else exemplifies man's subjugation of nature to his iron will like a well manicured lawn.