Monday, July 25, 2011

Manicured Lawns Are Not Natural

Every day I challenge myself to walk two miles in addition to some other aerobic form of exercise I can get.  It's not my favorite part of the day, but moving is a requirement, otherwise I feel more like I'm one with the couch rather than this world. What I do enjoy about walking in my neighborhood is seeing all the colors of nature and feeling either the heat light me up or the wind cool me down. I've always enjoyed that connection to all that surrounds me.

On my walks, in between all the mental conversations I'm having or written pieces I'm trying to work out, I notice a whole lot of people's attempts at manipulating their front lawns. Most are neatly done, every square inch of grassy strands perfectly in order, complete with lawn ornamentation that on many, compliment either the house or the owners personality very nicely. The lawns go from deep luscious green to weather-whipped tan and everything in between. The man-made variations of lawns are as plentiful as nature's rich and colorful display of foliage. But, some really go to the extreme of saying a big Fuck You – I own you! to nature with their manufactured look, rather than an inviting natural feel to their display.

I'm a big fan of orderliness in my regular day to day life, so one would assume that I would be equally thrilled with those lawns that smack of having a paid lawn maintainer or an enthusiastic gardener as its caretaker, but I'm really not. Even though the crisp look of those well-maintained lawns do add charm and a sense of 'all is well in the world' rightness to the neighborhood, there is something distinctly off about it too.

I really believe that some ┼░ber-manicured looking lawns are trying to present the perfect picture, but just like the clothes people wear meant to hide physical flaws or as the large houses chosen to impress are covering up massive debt and insecurities; these lawns are also hiding something. The facade of a beautifully well-kept lawn could be hiding an ugliness on the interior of the homes that sit on those grassy pictures of perfection. I don't know that for a fact, but it certainly is something I contemplate because of all that humans do to hide their true natures sometimes. Our society, so often, demands that obedience to facades otherwise judgments will be harsh because the society hasn't come to terms with accepting people as much as they could and, in my opinion, should.

The cliche 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression' comes to mind when I think about the pristine lawn. The people go to many lengths to impress other people with their skills at lawn maintenance, a facade implying they are equally as good as their lawns; kind of star quality people then. At least, the maintainers of those lawns hope it will lead other people to believe that. They understand what society dictates and they are playing that game of what's truly important. The appeal may be to present this polished outward appearance to indicate a level of achievement that won't warrant negative judgment. The fact is, their character, as individuals, should be the barometer of what qualifies for upstanding, not their damn lawn. I will say that there are probably a few lawn aficionados who are perfectly well-rounded, well-adjusted human beings and their top priority is only to be creative masters in their lawn universes, those kinds of people are not who I'm referring to.

My thoughts aren't always accurate and this quite possibly may be true of only a few people, but with a lot of the different things this old lady has learned in her life, I'm betting I'm not completely incorrect in my thought process. Appearances and fear of judgment are huge in today's world and something I don't see ever changing. Or maybe the only reason this even comes across my mind is because I don't have a manicured lawn. This piece would definitely help to explain it to the neighbors who don't get why it's not important to me. I hope they are reading it. Then they would definitively know who they are dealing with... a person who frequently doesn't adhere to the dictates of this society.

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