Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Mown Grass in Spring

Sometimes when we were little, Mr. Brunick would take a while before he’d get around to mowing his back lawn. The grass would grow a little higher than it probably should, but my friend, Craig, and I didn’t mind. We’d be glad, in fact, especially the first time it happened early in the spring.

When Mr. Brunick finally did mow the grass, he never used a bagger. He let the long blades fly up through the air, out the side of the mower, only to float back down to cover the ground after him. If we were lucky, we’d be watching from up on the hill by my back door. We’d be watching, waiting really, waiting for Mr. Brunick to be done with the mower. He always mowed early in the morning, which worked out perfectly for us.

That would be the only time we saw Mr. Brunick, when he had the mower out. When he was done, he’d put the mower in the garage and go inside his house. We’d not see him for two or three weeks when he decided to mow his lawn again.

Craig and I would grab a snack from my Mom’s kitchen and start down the cement stairs outside my back door. We’d steal across the vacant lot beneath the sledding hill covered with wild violets across the street from the white house where no one seemed to live. We’d keep watch that no interlopers from the river spotted us. We’d head straight for the oak tree at the edge of Mr. Brunick’s property, next to the violet covered sledding hill.

Craig would climb the tree and sit in it. I would find a soft spot under the tree and sit on it. I sat in the tree once or twice, but I thought the view next to the violets was sweeter. He’d swing his legs and we’d talk about what we’d do if we had all of the money in the world and other important stuff. We’d make up stories about our neighbors, especially all of the ones we never seemed to see much.

Then Craig would come down and the real event would begin. We would lie back and savor the wondrous feeling and flavor of being in an inch of long cut grass that was soft as a feather bed. We’d look up through trees and practice vaporizing clouds by thinking them into oblivion. First we’d tell each other what we saw. Then we’d explode it and laugh.

Then it would happen. A handful of grass would land on me. Then one would land on him. A full out grass fight would be in progress, complete with laughter and such lightness−light as the grass was flying from the mower, flying from his hand to my hair. Ah yeah, it was light and soft and sweet as the look in my eyes I feel right now seeing the picture of the two of us, throwing fresh cut spring grass through the air.

My mom said it was amazing that a kid could get grass stains in as many places as I did. I told her it was nothing. Huh! She should have seen the other guy.

I think she shook my pants out for a month.

So know this, the next time that you’re looking up through trees. If you’re with a friend you love, on a spring day under Mr. Brunick’s tree, if you’re very, very lucky, you might find yourself feeling lighter, softer, and sweeter than new mown grass in spring.

It’s an unforgettable feeling.

−me strauss Letting me be


AndyG said...

Love the story. It reminded me of times my brother and I would play in our backyard in the summer, We'd get into thos grass fights too.

Thanks for bringing back a memory

ME Strauss said...

Hi Andya,
Thank you for stopping by.
Yeah, grass fights are fun and messy. I smile to think of how they used to be. Don't think I ever had a pillow fight though. . . . hmmm I wonder what that means. Glad you found a happy memory.

Jennifer said...

Umm that was a great story~ You know I'll forever have a new appreciation of fresh cut grass.

You knnow a grass fight would be my type of thing. I have way too much fun with the silly things like that in life.

Like when the first snow falls of the season I take a handful and toss it at a friend or family member for the joy and laughter it brings~


ME Strauss said...

Hi Jennifer,
I can picture you doing that. Grass is great when it's first cut. It makes a soft cusiony place for streching out too, especially if you cover it with a blanket.

dog1net said...

The grass here is just starting to green. Love this piece. Good use of details puts me right in the scene, and brings back youthful memories of several grassfights gone by. But what I particularly like is how you juxtaposed Mr. Brunick to Craig, the tenderness associated with both, and the symbiosis that evolves with the three of you.

ME Strauss said...

I look forward to your comments so, because then I find out what I did. Thank you for telling me about my writing with such insight and such lovely words.

Sassy Brit said...

Unless you have hayfever, of course.

Bah Humbug. Don't pay any attention to me -- that's a lovely, heart-warming post, it's just this is day one of my smoke-free lungs, and it's TOUGH!!

Take care,

Sassy Brit

ME Strauss said...

Hi Sassy Brit,
What fun to see you again!
I do have hay fever and I did pay for it. It still was big fun every time we did it. Though Mom didn't see that way at. . . .