I recall the day my Dad told me he thought I was old enough to start cutting the grass. I can’t recall my age but we were living in Scarborough, so I’m guessing I was 13. The big deal was that the lawnmower was gas-powered! So the risk of doing something dumb, like a teen might, well this teen might… so he wanted to know that I knew what I was doing. We spent the first part of the morning talking about the blade, rolling the mower over so I could see the danger. He showed me how to put gas in, check the oil, and then what to wear. We started on the front lawn and he helped me understand how to cut a straight line by keeping your eye on a marker at the other end of the yard.
If you were cynical, you might think that he did that to get out of cutting the grass. In hindsight, I see now how that was helpful and shared some of the responsibilities of looking after a home. It was a very good thing to do, and like many things my Dad did in later years, I could see how he expanded his trust of me and what I was able to do as I got older.
Frankly, from the first time I put my hands on the lawnmower, I enjoyed it. I loved the feeling of seeing a shabby lawn be transformed into a tidy – yes manicured green space! I began to take more interest weeding the garden, trimming along the edges too.
Over the years Wendy and I have had several gardens – some have been better than others. Some years we’ve put more plants in planters, other years more into the garden but I always look forward to the days and weekends we give to that.
This past Saturday we started the process. There is something about digging in the warm earth, setting plants to grow, and watch the beauty of them transform an area that I really like. And I love sharing that with Wendy.