Wednesday, June 17, 2009

dandelions

And so begins day 29 with no rain here in Seattle. If we make it through the day, we’ll set an all time record for this time of year and possibly severely damage our reputation as a rainy, gloomy, fleece and umbrella haven. And yet, Al Roker continues to talk about “clouds and showers in the Pacific Northwest”. I wonder if he’s ever been here? My lawn would whole heartedly disagree with his observations.
All of this sun has come at a price. The emerald city has become a bit more brown….at least on my block. My own water bill has become an investment as I try to keep some green in my back yard. This has become my own version of an automobile bailout….investing way too much and way too late. My back lawn has become a parable of sorts for me. It is a living example that no matter how much the investment, if the foundation is suspect, then you’re simply peeing in the wind. If you’re a guy, you get the analogy.
A few years ago, some very well intentioned people made the investment of time and money to lay down sod in about one half of my back yard. I’ll have to admit that, at first, I was a bit bothered that the whole back yard didn’t receive the same treatment. The first summer it was down, it was like a thick green carpet. It was pretty amazing, but it was also a glaring reminder of how pitiful the rest of the yard had become. I secretly began to resent that old growth crap and berate it for becoming such a poor excuse of a lawn. I would sit on my newly finished deck and dream of the day that I could dig up all of the old stuff and replace it with this new rolled up wonder grass. Throughout all of my verbal abuse and disdain, the old stuff quietly took it and patiently waited beside the” new kid in town”.
The change came subtly. It began as a lone dandelion last Spring. Before I knew it, by the end of July it was crumbling into a dusty mixture of concrete like dust and plastic mesh screen with clumps of green scattered about. Now all of you “green thumbs” can save your breath. I have done everything that could be done to maintain and now revive this piece of real estate. Did you…….? Yes I did thank you. What about…….? Tried that. You should…… been there, got the t-shirt. Don’t send me advice, I’ve got the encyclopedia, Wikipedia, and google, all in my court. Anyway, this lawn has cost a fortune and my thought is why should it continue to cost a fortune just to do what it was supposed to do in the first place….grow. Guess what part of my lawn hasn’t cost a dime? Guess what part of my lawn is still green even with a month of Spring that had no rain. Oh yeah, that would be the old original stuff.
People are like lawns I suppose. How many have I seen in my role as pastoral artist that are trying to hide their crumbling base beneath the veneer of whatever looks good at the time? How many, if they had to endure extended times of stress, would be able to hold up under the pressure? How many are looking at their neighbors, grateful that they don’t have the same dandelions growing within their thick lush coats? How many eventually find out that dandelions may not be the most desirable, but hey, at least they’re green?

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