In the summer of 2014, I embarked on a solo backpacking adventure across Northern Michigan. With no one to talk to along the way, my journal became a powerful and necessary companion. I wrote journal nearly every day, sometimes many times a day, to capture the events and insights of my time on the trail or […]
The people I know say bad things about lawns.
They know about monoculture and monotony and suburbs.
They defend the dandelion and they relinquish the weed
and dream blindly of how better times used to be
But when I was ripping up my grass
to make room for a garden.
I frankly hurt my back with the strain of unearthing the carpet
of earth-woven roots and green fibers
and I pardoned the worms near the blade of my hoe,
as they sprinkled the dark soil beneath me.
I had to wonder if it was all a mistake-
would my produce produce all the green it displaced?
Would I weed for my stalks and leave barren blank space?
And what is so wrong with my lawn?
If every plastic person in every sterile home in every cul de sac
surrounded themselves with a moat of pure oxygen,
then, even if they stigmatized and strangled a stray dandy
even if they did it more for the vanity than the environment,
they could do a lot worse.
I will try valiantly to evolve beyond mere mowing
to cultivate a space that nourishes my home and myself
but if I started too late, or give up next year,
if I learn that what I discarded was better than what I replaced it with
then I’m the one who bad things should be said of.
Of all the problems with my culture
It is not lawns I am most worried about
It is people like me who know so much about
what is wrong
And so little about what to do about it.