May 13, 1998

Green, Green Grass of Home

I did not expect it to happen so quickly. And I did not expect the outside intervening causes. I just wanted it to be a little better.

I am talking about my lawn, of course. America’s love affair with the lawn is well documented. Men and women work diligently all week long, day and night, in corporate settings, to make enough money so that they can work even harder in the yard on weekends. The ultimate payoff is an expanse of lush green lawn.

My love of green grass springs from my childhood. I worked for many years on a golf course. Those endless fairways of tightly mowed grass were places of safety and comfort for me. Safety and comfort are certainly worth repeating.

Creating a fine lawn takes special knowledge and special weapons. I do not have much of the knowledge. My solution is to go the nursery center periodically and ask them if I should be doing something to my lawn. I know that spring and fall are the two important times.

I started a written record last fall of what and how much I put on the lawn. However, I have been too busy this spring for this type of scientific efficiency. And anyway, the guys at the nursery center will always know what to do.

I recently spread fertilizer on my lawn with my new rotary spreader. I wanted to green up and thicken up the grass. And then it rained for seven days straight - the intervening cause. And guess what happened? Yes, the grass grew greener and thicker than ever, except for the yellow stripes where I missed with the fertilizer. And that was after only two days of rain! Each further day of rain brought exponential growth. My yard began to resemble the rolling fields of wheat of our country’s heartland. But I do not possess a thresher. My little lawnmower is unprepared for this.

So, I got what I asked for - a lush, green lawn. But then I got more than what I asked for. I got a really tall, really lush green lawn. There is a bible thing about this - something like “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” The modern, less behavioral, version is “Be careful what you ask for, because you might get it.”

I have been fertilizing other areas of my life lately and they have begun to grow. But I am unprepared for the growth. What began as an idea now requires time, action and commitment. It seemed much easier and clearer as an idea. It was safer as an idea. No change was required.

My friend and I were discussing over coffee issues involving an organization in which we are both involved. I brought up an idea which I had been talking about for a year. She said, “That’s a great idea. Why don’t you do it?” Do it? No, I was talking about an idea. I was not talking about actually doing what the idea requires. Whoa, that would be a big undertaking. That would require time, action and commitment. I am not ready for a power surge. I like it simple. I like it safe.

The truth is that my life is ready for a power surge. I am not ready, but my life is ready. I knew that when I started to spread the fertilizer in my life. It was the first step of change and was sure to lead to being engaged more fully in life. The nutrients with which I have fed my life are now being watered by sources outside of me. The growth has begun and cannot be stopped.

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