Friday, May 22, 2015

The Green Grass (of Home)

My front yard, photo by J. Berta.

Greetings All:

This is the time of year when everything is green.  When I mean green, I mean "cut the grass twice a week" green.  We've had a bunch of rain and as a result, things are wonderfully green, except the weeds.  They're green, too, just not wonderful.

There is something of a minor ritual of lawn care, at least for me.  In our house, this is my job and it is one that I actually enjoy in a way.  There is a sense, a feeling of accomplishment, when it's all done.  More than once this season, I've caught myself staring at the sky, wondering if the rain would hold off until I got the back yard cut.  So far, I've gotten lucky.

There is something special about grass in the spring.  The dull yellow of winter is gone, replaced by a gorgeous green.  I also appreciate the simple beauty of a lawn freshly cut.  Not too long, not too short.  In the words of Goldilocks, "Just right."

Years ago I bought Johnny Cash's Live from Folsom and San Quinton Prison CDs.  It is one of, perhaps the iconic performance of his career.  There are a number of well-known songs, "Folsom Prison Blues," "Cocaine Blues," "A Boy Named Sue," (a personal favorite) and "Jackson."  All great songs, without a doubt.  However, one of my favorites is "The Green, Green Grass of home.

J.R. 'Johnny Cash," photo by Joel Baldwin, public domain, full citation listed below in credits.

 I've got a link to the lyrics, as well as a YouTube version of the performance, if you'd like to check either out for yourself. In a nutshell, the song tells the tale of a man who is so happy to be home, to see his parents, his beloved and the, ", green grass of home."  He awakes in his grey prison cell, realizing it was all a dream.  There is no joy, no green grass.  Just misery and and iron bars.  

It is a haunting song.  One heavy with regret and longing for a second chance...that will never come.  The narrator in this song will never see the green, grass of home.

I am not sure why I recall this song.  Perhaps it is that I'm a fan of Johnny Cash.  Perhaps it is that the older I get, the more I appreciate the home I have, even with the tasks of home ownership, including lawn care. 

In time, too soon actually, the rains of spring will yield to the summer sun and there may be weeks when the grass does not need to be cut.  When it is, it is more to level out the lawn than anything else.  So for now, I'll appreciate the green grass and not complain (much) about having to cut it twice a week.

Be well my friends,

Sources:, Joel Baldwin - LOOK April 29, 1969. p.74, Public Domain,_Green_Grass_of_Home 

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