My neighbor has the most incredible yard. The grass is a soft, lush carpet that tickles between your toes when you take it up on its invitation to walk barefoot amongst its cool blades. The fountain burbles happily in harmony with the song birds, with just the right amount of noise. The flowers, oh how sweet the scent is that they release into the air, beckoning you to follow your nose.
To be honest my neighbor’s yard is almost too perfect in its perfection. From a distance you can’t believe it’s all real, and yet it is. The green grass, is in fact cut precisely so and the edges trimmed with scissors. Dead flowers and leaves are immediately removed so as not to interfere with the vibrancy of the living plants. Rachel venting the fountain and the bird bath are scrubbed to maintain a nice clean glow. Furniture gets wiped down daily, sometimes more than once and water markets are polished off the tables.
My neighbor takes great delight in the harmony and beauty she has been able to help cultivate. She says keeping it pristine and lively is healing for her, a cheap and natural form of therapy that is far above any man-made type. She says the soil, water, sunshine and wind all play a key role in keeping things looking as they should. Nature, she points out, always provides what is needed. I have a feeling she thinks the extravagant measure some people take to find perfection within their yards is missing the point since nothing can, in her mind, surpass the luxury of nature’s simple beauty.
Granted some would call trimming the grass with scissors a bit much and what’s wrong with the water spots left as proof to nature’s touch? But to me the continual removing of the dead things is unnatural, as if to defy the cycle of life and acknowledge the beauty in death that nature presents. Nothing ever dies without some amazing show, the end of life being the last vibrant burst of color or scent. To remove the dead flowers is, in some unnatural for surely they still have work to do. And without meaning to, the remind me to live each day to its fullest, in full color. They remind me that life passes by whether we spend our time living it fully or conservatively in the shadows.
My yard, by comparison may have grass, but it’s nothing compared to my neighbor’s. My riot of colors provided by plants and flowers that form their own haphazardously display is eye-catching in its own chaotic way. Just because my yard will never be thing of envy in the way my neighbor’s is, doesn’t make it any less. Any less colorful, beautiful, inviting or magical. All in its own way.