I mowed my lawn last week, the first time for the season. I thought I might make it wait until May, but it didn’t quite... and the weather was so nice for it, that day.
It’s not always, of course, the weather. In the dog days, when New York hits the upper 90s in both degrees Fahrenheit and percent humidity, it can be a pretty miserable hour. At those times, I’ve thought of finding a neighbourhood kid to do it, as I used to do for others in Florida, forty years ago.
Back then, I got $5 for a lawn. Well, except for my own: my father only gave me $1. On the other hand, Dad also took care of the food and clothing, and bought me lots of other things I wanted, so I think I can give him a break on the lawn thing. Anyway, gasoline prices have gone up by a factor of about ten since then, so at the same rate of increase, I guess I’d expect to pay at least $50 now.
But whenever I think about doing that, I back off. I actually like doing the lawn, even in those dog days. It’s a kind of zen thing, a meditative activity, the drone of the mower acting as a sort of mantra as I go to and fro, to and fro, across the yard, some sixty feet one way and then sixty feet the other, over and over for an hour, thinking about whatever comes to mind. I’d miss that time of enforced meditation.
Sometimes, what I think about turns into something on these pages.
 And where does that idiom come from?