Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
It was a gorgeous March day in Florida and I had nothing else on my schedule. Clear skies and temps in the seventies. Time to tackle some yard work.
I cut and trimmed the lawn. I pruned back all the dead branches from some of the backyard plants that had gotten bitten by a few sub-freezing days last winter. I finished moving landscaping rocks from a pile on the side of the house to the edges of the backyard gardens. Then I raked out tons of pine needles and weeded. Finally, I raked everything up and filled some yard waste bags to put out next week on collection day.
During one of my water breaks, I sat under the shade umbrella, felt the breeze, and thought about the whole yard/garden work experience. It’s not something you can rush. Slow and steady wins this race. Most tasks involved persistent, repetitive action. I loaded up and carried about 40 buckets of rock. Back and forth, back and forth. I cut twenty-two-inch wide rows across the lawn. Back and forth, back and forth. I sat and weeded section after section of the garden, leaving behind pile after pile to rake up. I pruned branch after branch, clipping them into smaller pieces and slowly filling bag after bag. I sprayed grass and weed killer along the fence line, killing off the grass that insists on growing where it’s not welcome.
I spent most of the day outside, slowly but surely getting the work done. The sun felt so good. Shade from some of the trees felt so good. The breeze that came in through spaces in the fence felt so good. The Amaryllis looked as if they were ready to bloom any minute. I’ve always enjoyed the smell of newly mown grass, until my allergies realize what is happening and start to clog up my sinuses.
I wouldn’t want to spend all day every day doing yard work. But some days I wouldn’t want to be any place else. I need a healthy dose of vitamin D from the sun. I need many breaths of fresh air. I need to hear the birds singing in the woods around me. I need to feel the dirt between my fingers. I need to feel the power of the string trimmer and the leaf blower in my hands. I need to see how many more lilies are poking up through the soil this year. I need to think about the new flowers and plants I will add this year.
For the moment, I can savor a completed task. It is a fleeting pleasure, for there are more tasks to be done. The grass’ growth accelerates as the days grow longer. Thankfully, I will have many other days in the yard and garden.