Monday, April 8, 2013

Stop and Smell the Grass

The past few days have finally been getting into the 60's after a very cold, slow spring so far. Usually by April our yard would be half-covered with dandelions already going to seed, but this year the grass is only just starting to green. Yesterday I was hanging out in the backyard after a two-hour bike ride/romp with my brother and sister in our neighborhood prairie park. I just didn't feel like going inside yet, so I lay down on the ground with my face close to the grass. I could see the new emerald blades pushing their way through last year's dead ones. I spotted a single tiny fresh dandelion plant, without any buds yet. Once a brown leafhopper--a harmless little, arrowhead-shaped insect, small enough to perch easily on the point of a pencil--hopped onto my hand. I was close enough to see the miniscule streaks of white and tan on its body.

But most of all I loved the smell of the grass. I've always found the scent of grass or hay sort of sweet, filling, peaceful, and invigorating all at once, but this day I particularly relished it, because I hadn't smelled it for months. It was a very little thing, but it made the day lovely.

The funny thing is, of course, that neither grass, nor a dandelion, nor a leafhopper, is very extraordinary. They're all around us, if we only care to take time, crouch down, and look and smell and feel. There's something to be said, I think, for this sort of "doing nothing". This Sunday I had planned to get some things "done"; mostly, I wanted to work on my writing, because I had the time. Instead I spent the Lord's Day smelling the grass. But I think I went to bed far more satisfied and relaxed, than I would have if I had spent the afternoon hunched over my computer keyboard indoors.