My new neighbor, Henry, a fresh-eyed kid (well, he's actually 27, but he looks 17 years old), bought a new lawn. It was delivered and unrolled a month ago, and now looks as thick as a plush carpet. Not a single square inch of grass is marred by weeds, brown spots, or violets.
It's a lovely lawn. In fact, it is the envy of the neighborhood.
Scan one yard over, and you will observe my lawn. I like to call it a safe haven for all living creatures: birds, dandelions, rabbits, moles, voles, and the predators who feast upon them. Right now the violets have taken over, and some lovely white star-like flowers are taking hold. When I mow this weekend, my lawn will look uniform and green - for about 24 hours. Then the differences between my yard and Henry's lawn will become apparent again. By Friday my lawn will be bursting with texture and color, whereas Henry's will remain green and uniform.
Once upon a time, I too had yard service like Henry's. The men came every week, spraying, fertilizing, clipping, and edging. In those days, my lawn stopped my neighbors dead in their tracks to exclaim over its uniform beauty. But lawn service became one of the earliest casualties of my divorce. Now I am proud of my yard's natural state. From a distance it looks green and tidy. From up close, well, it looks colorful and alive.
I don't mind the sorry state of my lawn any more, being too busy to care. But I sure appreciate looking at Henry's.