ETHOS

ETHOS

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stop and Smell the Fertilizer

So I smell like fertilizer because I just finished spreading a bag on my yard. It's a good smell; bright and somehow lively. I like yardwork because often, while I'm mowing or raking leaves, trimming trees, or cutting wood (I still have some logs to split from the chestnut), I don't think about anything. Not thinking about anything is preferable to thinking about something in my book, and I like anything that takes me to that kind of place. I like watching the granules drop through the spreader onto the grass (it never seems like enough), and I'm just some boring guy taking care of his yard, and that's okay. I think the key is resignation. I often feel like I'm in a hurry all the time during spring: so much so, I don't get a chance to enjoy it; and BOOM, the kids are graduated, it's summer, and my schedule has been completely cleared. It's kind of like stepping off a cliff.

Rushing... I was trying to blow my nose at a stoplight today and the light turned green before I could do it and I had to drive; it's this kind of feeling that causes stress. For me at least. Yardwork is a great cure for stress. That is, unless you feel like you have to do it. Like maybe because your neighbors are getting sick of your leaves, or weeds, or whatever. No, if you're doing it just because you want to... that's what I'm talking about. There's perhaps nothing quite so gratifying as mowing the yard. It's probably one of the dumbest chores human beings have invented, but if you can look past all that and just live in the moment of pushing the machine you'll see what I mean. Probably, you already know.

2 comments:

Mr. President said...

Mr. Skarl I could not agree with you anymore, although I don’t quiet enjoy the smell of fertilizer as much as you. I absolutely love doing physical work that allows me to free my mind from much thought. Most people think that sleep is rest for the mind, but I find that completely opposite in fact. Most of the dreams I have exhaust me mentally by the time I wake up and have time to think about them…

What you may find a little surprising Mr. Skarl, is that I am a janitor. Casey’s grandfather has a janitor business and I joined and fell in love with it. It is comparable to meditation in my mind and when I’m done, I get a feeling of self respect. I get the same feeling when I go out and do yard work for my family as well. Interesting enough I never get the same feeling, and stress healing when I do the cleaning or yard work for myself, only when I aid others.

(Random unrelated comment)

How sometimes I wish to be a sadhu; to shed all my worldly possessions to passionately follow the path to enlightenment… Perhaps before I reach my full potential, I will learn what I can from their hermit ways?

John said...

It sounds like your dreams are looking for an outlet Josh. Try writing them down sometime.

What a great job! You should write about it sometime.

The sadhus are a strange and interesting group, aren't they? They're almost like ghosts among the living. Statues? I'm not sure how involved they are in encouraging what they stand for. I can see an upside to this as well as a downside. Who knows the path?

Look inside