Today I finally finished mowing the back lawn. It’s not as bad as it used to be when I was growing up. Back then, there were about 2 1/2 acres to mow without anything to break up the monotony. Since moving back, I’ve planted a bunch of different berries, bushes, and trees. Most of them are still alive and well. The blackberry patch is thriving, and I think it might even take over the whole yard one day.
As I go around the things I’ve grown, I get a sense of temporary satisfaction. There’s still a small voice that demands I don’t get too proud of my work, but driving the mower helps keep it at bay. I get to feel a practical sense of pride in the work, especially when the apple trees are large enough now to give me shade from the sun. When we got them, they weren’t as useful for that.
I also noticed the first hazelnut coming in from one of the four Filbert trees. There’s apples on two of the apple trees (one of them died). The almond trees are growing tall, but they haven’t produced anything yet. Lots of green blackberries are hanging off the shoots, and some of them are starting to darken and look fairly delicious.
Growing things has been kind of nice. It’s not just about planting something and have it stay alive after a few years. When I first put those plants in, I noticed entire new ecosystems develop around them. Insects would come in and feed off whatever the plant had to offer. Spiders and birds would come by and cull the insect population. Wasps and larger birds would come in and complete the food chain. I realize now that planting something didn’t just benefit me; a lot of other creatures can reap the rewards of my work.