There’s something very soothing about my mother’s back yard. It’s long and deep and dappled with shade from ancient maples that meet overhead. It’s rimmed with flower beds full of old fashioned flowers like verbena and roses, lily of the valley and daisies. It’s scattered with shrubs big enough for a child to hide in, and hedges with secret passageways to lands unknown. It’s the kind of yard every grandma should have.
Mowing it is a logistical nightmare. Those ancient maples spring from roots just waiting to trip you up. The flower beds, so pretty to look at, are scattered randomly about the lawn. There are shrubs and downspouts and a clothesline…..but I love it. There are worse things than trailing a mower on a warm spring day, the scent of fresh cut grass filling every breath. All those obstacles force me to slow down long enough to appreciate the beauty in the day, the strength to do the work, and the willingness of spirit to commit to it.
Best of all, at the way-back of the yard, behind the hedges and the fence, there are railroad tracks. To this day, in time honored tradition, when we hear the trains approaching three generations stop whatever we are doing to wave at the conductor. And just as when I was a child, small enough to hide in the shrubs, he always waves back.