Mowing Therapy

May 14, 2021. I have no photograph of my beloved manual rotary lawnmower. My bond with that machine went way beyond yard aesthetics. I brought it with me to Texas when I left Florida in 1986, before I was into photography, before I was into writing about my obsessions. This mower was an obsession, a very therapeutic one.

Today I read a fantastic post from Bill Pearse Promenade in green that set my mind whirling, regretting having ever relinquished that old mower. It deserves a memorial poem. Even if I have to use a contrived image (though backdrop is an actual old photograph of the Florida backyard).

21 thoughts on “Mowing Therapy

  1. This really resonates with me. I too get a bit of therapeutic sort of emotional cleansing from doing yard work…mostly pruning and pulling weeds. We have my mom’s old push mower in our backyard shed, although we have not used it in a couple of years.

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    1. Thanks, Betty – good to know someone hangs onto old-fashioned tools. They have pluses along with their inconveniences. Some have nostalgic credentials! Looking for an image, I see that reel mowers are still readily available – if I ever live with grass again, maybe I’ll splurge on one.

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  2. Yeah the cutting, weeding, pruning actions resonate with deeper needs we have for sure. I love how closely we live with the figurative world! Thanks for the share (mine and yours) Jazz, and I enjoyed reading this with my coffee this morning. Be well!

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    1. Mowing moments keep coming. This morning there’s a post of our granddaughter mowing their backyard, looking a bit pissed, her dad’s photo annotation “Finally old enough to mow” – my footnote: “every woman needs to know how to mow!”

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      1. I know, my wife would like to use our tractor but the brakes are shot and I won’t let her. It’s kind of dodgy. Last week I got the netting from the pickle ball court caught in the blade and had to cut it out with loppers. Not a good look. Quite conscious if the neighbors saw. Kind of didn’t care.

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  3. “ridding yard of grass / paralleling ridding mind, heart” — perfect!

    I’m sure we had a lawn mower when I was a teen, but it’s nowhere in my memories. However, my best friend (next door) mowed his with a reel mower (I’m pretty sure it had metal wheels, and I’d help out once in a while. Pushing that thing definitely stands out in my mind.
    Up until a couple of years ago, my son had a “postage stamp” front and backyard, and he used a reel mower.

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    1. Thanks, Ken – I too draw a blank on lawn mower while growing up but guessing it was a reel, guessing that’s why I bought a reel when divorce settlement left me mowerless.
      I was surprised looking for an image at how many options are out there to buy a new one. Half tempted (might make an interesting conversation piece as yard art!)

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  4. This takes me back to my first house post divorce. There was magic in the physicality of drudge work that did help release all that pent up emotion. Funny, I was just thinking about that the other day. Must have caught your vibe.

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    1. I have mixed feelings about lawns -young kids enjoy romping on grass (the Florida lawn’s ticket to be) – but I no longer have rambunctious youngsters – cats and dogs and local wildlife do just fine with our Texas native-plant xeriscape. No more mowing!!!
      Thanks for your “endorsement” of my more-mature preferences.

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    1. Two key factors: Blade sharpness and how tall the grass has grown since last mow!
      Thanks for your response – I had my blades “touched up” once and that made mowing easier with more even results. But wait too long and the sharpest blades could not alleviate the need for muscle surges.

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  5. What a wonderful analogy, Jazz. It reminds me of mowing my yard in TN after my first husband left me. I had never mown a yard and was scared to death of the blades and noise. But someone had to mow and that was me. I had a baby at the time and I didn’t know what to do with him while I mowed. I started out by mowing when he napped but that was in the hottest part of a TN summer day. So I started putting him in his high chair with Cheerios on the patio and mowed in the cool mornings, watching him with each lap. Thank you so much, Jazz. I’m going to have to journal about that.

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  6. Mowing while monitoring a baby in highchair – oh, LuAnne!! That is a fantastic example of what mothers do when we have no other choice – we do it all at once! By contrast, my kids were in preschool & elementary when I had my divorce and began mowing therapy … when lucky I could get their assistance picking up pine cones before the mowing began. Mostly, though, I mowed while they were off somewhere with their dad – mowing kept me occupied and feeling some little bit “in control”.

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