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Readying the yard for her winter's nap

For as much as it hasn’t rained this fall, the past week has been drenching. Day after day of rain kept me inside where I hibernated, recuperating from life. We need those moments where we do nothing but make sure our hair is washed and we feed our bodies. I finished several shows in binge-watching style and let myself veg out.
 
Yesterday dawned bright and crisp, the cool air whipping my face as I stood outside and surveyed my lawn. I’d been neglecting her in the chaos of my fall, and she hadn’t been mowed in two and a half weeks.
 
The lines of work that fall to each of us in our household happened naturally. The lawn is my kingdom, and if she isn’t mowed properly — lines razor-sharp — everything turns upside down.
 
I’m spontaneous at life and don’t have to have every corner of my house in pristine condition. I lament weeds in my garden but don’t freak out when they’re not pulled immediately. But my lawn? My lawn must be mowed, and the lines must be straight. That’s it.
 
The term “putting the garden to bed for the winter” is one that I grew up consistently being shown. Every fall Dad would grind up the leaves to cover the flower beds like a warm blanket, tucking them in.
 
The leaves created a barrier against the snow and ice, allowing the soil underneath to rejuvenate and be ready for spring. I don’t grind my leaves, but I do layer them on all my beds. Maybe it’s by rote, but cutting off the dead flowers and cleaning up the yard is something I do to be ready for winter. It’s like spring cleaning in fall, only outside.
 
I gather my pots of annual flowers that have run their course, dumping them and stashing the pot away for next year. My patio furniture gets stripped of its cushions, and the chairs are stacked and stored. All my bits and baubles of decoration are neatly placed in the garage on a shelf, where they will await me in warmer weather. Gnomes and cement birds rest gently until it’s their time to shine once again.
 
After I’d done my yearly work of sweeping the cement clean of leaves and attempting to take down the umbrella on my patio, I surveyed my kingdom once more. The mower had done her job, and I hope she gets a good long rest for winter. (Unless we get a warm spell and I mow in December.)
 
The lines ran so sportily up and down my back yard that I felt like a victory lap was in order. Having just walked the entire front and back yards for two hours, I decided that lap-running wasn’t necessary.
 
I plopped down on the edge of our cement patio and looked around. I watched my cat run around what she perceives to be her kingdom, never straying far from it. I live in a small, humble house with a small, humble yard.
 
I’m not a gardener and never will be. I love to look at flowers and see them grow, perennials gracing and making up the entirety of my flower beds. That’s enough for me. I don’t need more.
 
I do stray from my kingdom, seeking out travels to places that pique my interest and delve into my heart. But I’ll always come home to crisp grass lines and tall trees that spread their shedding leaves, to a small, square backyard that has held my running children and grows the many perennials passed down to me from my parents, where my heart in all its bursting wanderings finds peace.
 

Published: November 13, 2017
New Article ID: 2017171109907