Why are we so obsessed with our grass? What is so important about A) having a lawn of grass around our house and 2) keeping it well manicured? Why did I just spend two hours mowing and trimming my yard? And why does it feel so good when I look outside and see it?
It just doesn't make any sense. Green is just a color. Grass is just a plant. But we like to see stretches of close-cropped lawn laid out before us. There must be some hard-wiring inside humans, at least modern Americans, that makes us desire this aesthetic. There are a couple reasons I can think of, perhaps none of which are true.
- We want to feel one with nature. In our increasingly urban lives, we see less and less nature. Perhaps that's why we enjoy going to parks, watching on nature trails, going camping, and even looking at our yards. Maybe the grass makes us feel that much closer to nature, which we miss when we're inside out houses and office buildings.
- It's a status symbol. Rich people can afford big yards. They have trees, nice lawns, even ponds, lakes, ocean views. And perhaps we desire that, we want to be like the wealthy people with the money to make even the outside of their houses look spotless.
- No one likes to be judged. I know I mow sometimes because I know it's getting high and I'm afraid someone will comment on my yard. It's embarrassing when your grass is really high and people come over. I don't know why, but it is, and perhaps we're all competing with each other to see who can mold the nicest backyard.
So, whatever the reason, when I stop to think about it I feel a little silly putting that much time and effort into keeping my grass looking nice. I mean, so what if it was a yard of dirt, or blacktop, or sand? If everyone started paving their backyards, would that start to feel normal? Or would we desire trees and water and greenery and nature even more than we already do?
why DID you spend 2 hours??ReplyDelete
Clover season is not the best time to have a reel mower. And I procrastinated last week so it was extra high. And I have to weed-whack. But someday winter will come, so at least there's that.Delete
If I were to pick from your list I would say #3 is most likely a candidate in my life. But I think for me the truest reason is another view: I think it's important to take care of something; to take something that was a mess and make it into something that brings value (monetary, aesthetic, and picnicking). I love the idea of taking something that is viewed as ugly and undesired, and turn it into something that I and others view as valuable. Restoration. For me restoration drives a lot of my motives. But we are currently in the throws of turning a weed and thorn dirt pit into a yard. Once it is to a place I am happy with, we'll see how much I tend to it.ReplyDelete
Restoration implies that it was once grand and fell into decay. Perhaps your yard was always a weed and thorn dirt pit and would be happier that way. And perhaps my yard wants to be a clover field.Delete
Alas, the lady who owned the home prior to the previous owners had a brain injury and took, what we are told, was a golf coarse quality yard, and made it into an emporium for her "art" and "gardening", then the people who owned it prior to us didn't take care of said emporium, and then the house set for 2 years on the market, so when we got it all that was left was a bunch of marbles and weeds. The restoration is to bring it back to a yard, which it started as, at least "started" 3 prior owners ago.Delete
I see. Well, restore on.Delete
I hope you approve of my previous comment so it will becomes visible.ReplyDelete
I'll take this opportunity to share JBP's thoughts; he thinks that the practical reasons to mow are to control pests and to provide a nice place to play. But he also thinks that Americans are secretly mimicking British nobility.Delete
Maybe it's because when you don't cut it, our legs get itchy, the kids can't play outside as easily, it attracts extra bugs, and it could conceal snakes, or worse, opossum poop.ReplyDelete
All good reasons to pave it.Delete