Ah the weekend behind the mower. Ear muffs on to muffle out the sound. Brain in neutral or more so away with the fairies; deep in thoughts. After all it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to push the mower around. I once revelled in this time for the moment it gave me to be lost in my thoughts; the (not so) quiet contemplation. But what life is passing under the sweep of the blades as I push forward, the task at hand, to create an even cut without a blade out of place.
Mowing has now become more an act of mindfulness. The need to be present and ever observant in the moment. To concentrate on what goes before the mower rather than the end result behind its passing. Keeping a watchful eye on the multitude of life that I have become increasingly aware of and in need of keeping safe.
You see, the frogs and skinks are out at the moment and they are blissfully jumping and running through the long wet grass; chasing after the explosion of baby crickets that have recently emerged. Mowing has become a slow art of observing just in front and to the sides. No distractions of thought. To keep an eye out for the tell-tale hop or slither to slow even further to let them pass. To allow time for the baby crickets to scamper away; be available as a meal to the frogs and skinks in future. Also scurrying along between the blades are the hunting spiders most likely chasing those baby crickets as well. A lady bird hangs like a dew drop from another blade conspicuous only by its bright colour in contrast to the sea of green within which it finds itself.
The mower is no longer set to crew cut but to a height that virtually allows the grass to fall back to continue to provide shelter. There are also those few places in the garden where I have regularly met upon some frogs. These areas are now officially designated green zones. A no mow zone. No frog need wear a flack jacket here in case they should be confronted by the marauding red mower. I am not sure what it is about these particular spaces that have turned into a virtual lure of love for frogs but their rendezvous site is safe with me. The whole back yard is a patchwork of green zones, island refuges with mown paths between. A concession to us to access the land which we ultimately need to share with the wildlife we have displaced by our presence.
The mowing down now for pruning with presence to avoid snipping any of these little beauties amongst the coastal wattle….