When I announced last October to my friends and coworkers that on the previous weekend I had mowed for the last time that year, one of them had a question: How did I know?
The answer was so simple, I almost didn’t answer.
“Because I am not going to mow anymore!”
Apparently, he is of the aesthetic school of mowing which believes you mow in order to make your lawn look good.
It is leven such at this that is spoiling the loaf at NALM, the National Association of Lawn Mowers. NALM — and if you don’t believe me you can read its Facebook page--was founded to “help spread the spiritual, health, and aesthetic benefits of mowing both for the individual and the community.”
True, aesthetics is in there, but it’s only one thing among many and you might notice that it’s listed last. I can imagine a hard fought argument at the annual convention of NALM where during the wee hours of the morning at the closing session someone stood up and said, “But we can’t forget aesthetics...”
And after a groan, the phrase “aesthetic benefits” was wordsmithed in.
Those of us who are true believers know of mowing’s health benefits and live by its spiritual benefits. The fact that it makes your lawn look good is just an incidental vanity. This was all made clear to me last year when I was barred from mowing for the bulk of the season.
I’d gotten the mowing season started as usual and had already mowed several times when I had a (non-mowing related) surgery and was forced, by doctors orders, to turn the task over to my beloved wife.
This disturbed me because up until that point we’d divided up our household tasks in a very traditional way. That is to say, I did the mowing and she did everything else.