Tags: exercise, mowing, relaxation
I love mowing the lawns – do you?
M is for Mowing the Lawn
Back and forth, I tramp across the yard,
pushing before me this raucous machine
that devours grass and sticks and weeds,
masticates them in whirling blades,
spitting out their shredded remains
in long uneven parallels of green.
So often a tedious task, but not today:
A warm afternoon sun draws yesterday’s rain
From moist earth into clear blue autumn skies,
And a light breeze cools the well-earned sweat
That, in humid air, gathers upon my brow.
Around me, in red-flowering bottlebrush trees,
Gaudy Rainbow Lorikeets quarrel vociferously,
Chasing their differences from tree to tree,
Their screeches almost overwhelming the mower’s roar.
Up the back slope, where I have not yet been,
Sedate Eastern Rosellas pluck plentiful grass seeds.
I do not mow all their granary, but leave uncut
The yard’s far reaches, amid tall Spotted Gums.
There, skinks and blue-tongue lizards hide
Among tall grass, bracken fern and fallen branches,
And, at night, brush-tailed possums play.
As I work my way across the lawning grass,
Two lapwings follow in my wake.
Immaculately dressed in light tan and white,
Black collars and caps, and masks of bright yellow,
They show no fear as I turn the mower towards them.
Our lawns and the neighbours’ provide
A constant, well-stocked larder for this faithful pair.
Today, they enjoy a veritable feast,
Darting in and dashing out on red-brown stick legs,
Snatching and devouring their spoils – the unlucky insects
So rudely disturbed by my slashing monster.
As I close the throttle at last, blessed silence returns –
Except for those still-argumentative lorikeets.
The lapwings continue to forage over the sun-dappled lawn;
They should sleep, well-fed, tonight.
The mower garaged, I survey, from the verandah,
A neat, evenly cut lawn beneath tall, sheltering trees,
Enjoying the glow of a job well done, and a feeling of
Intimacy with our local community of feathered friends.
(c) Linda Visman
Tags: Australia Day, dog or cat?, exercise, gratitude
Here are my responses to Cee’s Share Your World questions for Week 2 of this year.
Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?
I am definitely a hugger. There is something warm and accepting about a hug, and I love to pass that on to others. We all grew up in a demonstrative family, and it was considered normal to hug when arriving and leaving home; and I hug friends as well as family. I carried that into my adult life and my five sons are all comfortable with hugs. I can almost always tell when a non-hugger arrives though, and back off so they don’t get uncomfortable.
What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?
Boysenberry! However it is a rare treat to have ice cream.
Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?
I like to exercise both. Physically, I am quite active. I mow our double house block which is on a slope, do fairly heavy work in the garden and the house, and go (irregularly) for walks. I can’t be a book-chair or computer potato for too long before I need to move.
My reading, writing and extensive work with my reading group has kept my brain active for some years now, and I love crosswords – both regular and cryptic. My scrapbooking also keeps my creative side alive and kicking when my writing falls off.
Are you more of a dog person or a cat person? Why?
I am certainly not a cat person, and I am astounded at the fuss people make over cats. It seems in many ways they worship them! Cats are beautiful creatures in every way except for one – they are superb killing machines. They seem to be like humans that way; killing for the sake of killing. Much of Australia’s natural wildlife has been destroyed since cats were introduced to this country, taking millions of small animals every year.
Dogs can go feral too, but they are capable of wonderful relationships with people – unlike cats, who use people as their slaves. I would love to have a dog, but circumstances do not allow it.
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful for the terrific man I married – that is ongoing. I was glad to see it raining steadily for several days, as we needed it for the garden, and to cool off the summer heat.
Next week? Nothing much planned early in the week, but the Australia Day holiday is coming up on the weekend of the 24-26 January, and a cruise with our sailing club to celebrate. Hoping we will both be okay to get the boat out and join in on at least some of the festivities.
Tags: beating the blues, creativity, depression, exercise, physical work
The less exercise I get and the less I exert myself to do something constructive or creative, the more likely I am to fall into a depression, even if it is only a mild one. The black dog is always looking for an opportunity to sneak in.
The more regularly I exercise, the better I am. And when I speak of exercise, I don’t mean just going for a 15-minute walk. I don’t count it as exercise unless it has pushed me in a way that tests my strength and stamina, my heart and lungs and muscles.
My exercise, apart from aqua aerobics when I can get there, is not in a gym, using state of the art machinery. I get mine while doing constructive things around the house.
I have always loved doing physical work, inside or outside the house. I was mowing the lawns as a ten or eleven year-old girl, even though I had an older brother.
I have enjoyed moving furniture and re-arranging rooms ever since I had my own place to do it in. I have dug many a garden, some of them large ones. I have made garden edges and footpaths; constructed henhouses and yards for our fowls and ponds for the ducks. I have built outdoor bird aviaries, planted – and sometimes cut down – trees and shrubs. And I have mowed many a yard over the last fifty-plus years.
There is something so positive about doing these sorts of activities, that depression is pushed aside. It finds it hard to compete with the satisfaction I obtain from a strenuous job, especially if it is well done.
Yesterday, I spent a total of about seven hours moving large bookcases (we have an awful lot of books) and cleaning the rooms they are in. This afternoon, I have spent an hour and a half mowing – with a motor mower you push – and sweeping the paths. I feel great. Two days of good physical activity have sent those lurking feelings of depression packing, at least for now.
More sedentary, but creative, activities can do something similar. Among other things, I write in many genres and do scrap-booking. I also help others with their writing. All these activities stretch my mind and take me away from the black thoughts.
Sometimes, it is extremely difficult to make the first move. One’s whole being is repelled by the thought of coming out of the darkness of depression, as I know only too well. But if one can overcome that inertia, then the rewards are worth it. They may not seem so at first, but repeating the exercise will strengthen the light of positivity, however weak, that is always struggling to show itself.
With a mixture of physical, mental and creative activities, I know I can drive away the black dog of depression.
But I need to keep at it. When I sit back and do nothing for too long a time, that dog will come sniffing around again, trying to bring me down.
© Linda Visman