Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snowblowing and Lawnmowing

It's a beautiful morning in Rochester, New York. We got about six inches of very heavy snow last night and another inch this morning. Tonight we could get another 6-10 inches. The trees are laden with snow and the neighborhood is like a fairyland. And best of all, I can use my snowblower!

You see, I'm one of those strange people who love to have a nice clean driveway. If we get an inch or two of snow I'm out marching up and down with my shovel, and if we get more than that I fire up the snowblower. I've been known to shovel at 11 p.m. while the snow is still coming down. And if, before I finish, we get another half inch on the completed part, that's great! That means I'll be out again, soon.

When snow shoveling time is over, I can't wait for lawn mowing time to arrive. Lawn mowing is just as satisfying as snow shoveling, but in a different way. I don't get the cardio workout from walking the driveway and heaving the snow, but I do get the satisfaction of seeing the long, straight rows cut into the green grass. The lawn looks so nice for a few days! And, I love to be outside in the heat of summer, sweating and getting a farmer tan.

Another benefit of dealing with the snow and the grass is that they require mindless routines that leave plenty of brainpower available for cogitation on other matters. I find that I often "lose myself" as I guide the riding mower effortlessly around and around our yard or the churchyard.

Modern life is so mechanized,insulated, and air-conditioned that many of us hardly spend any length of time outdoors. Snowblowing or shoveling, and lawn mowing, expose us to the extremes of temperatures where we live. That's good. We feel more alive. In fact, these activities are maybe even 10% as wonderful and rewarding as walking 18 holes on a challenging golf course! That's saying a lot.


ThomasLB said...

I like mowing the lawn, too. It's one of the few things in life where the results are available instantaneously.

Ron Davison said...

I am with you on the mindless activities that might (or might not) provoke mindful meditations. There is a certain freedom in doing tasks that are not all consuming.