the words of tim walker

mowing the lawn

i hate yardwork.
my parents used to have threaten my life to get me to go help outside.
i would have vacuumed my room. dusted the shelves. even scrubbed toilets.
but go outside and work? no thank you.

and once out there, i was just a joy to have around.
i thought that if conveyed just how much i hated working outside, i would be released to do something else.

it didn’t work.

now that i’m grown up, i can’t say that my fondness for it has changed much.
i still would rather clean a toilet.
and while i never have acquired an affinity for lawn work, i have come to appreciate cutting the grass.
it’s not something i enjoy doing, or seek out doing.
but once i’m out there, it’s really kind of nice.

i put my iPhone on shuffle, crank up the volume, and get lost in the moment.
it’s some of my most creative thinking time.
last week, i plotted out a movie while cutting the front yard. i’ll never write the screenplay, but i have a pretty good idea.
i also think of blog ideas, which i frequently forget afterwards or i’m too overcome by the Georgia summer heat to come in and start writing after giving the yard a haircut.

and while my creativity doesn’t result in anything, sometimes there’s a value in just creating.
to dream and feed ideas, without an agenda or an end result.

cutting the grass is also the time when God can get my attention.
i remember Bible verses.
i listen to lyrics on songs that are mindless background music most of the time.
i’m reminded of what is good. true. perfect. godly.
and there’s a peace that comes.

not in the stillness of a morning by the lake.
or even a walk on the beach.

but in the whirr of a lawnmower engine, with sweat dripping down my back and grass clippings covering my legs.
there’s something holy in that moment.

while i may start out mumbling about why someone else should be cutting the grass, somehow my self slips away.
and the straight lines of freshly cropped grass bring order to the ground and to my soul.


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