Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hymns & Hand Watering

     Yesterday’s high was 98˚. Today’s was 97˚, and the next two days aren’t going to be any cooler. One of the nice things you can do for your lawn and for yourself is to indulge in a little hand watering. Professionals call it syringing – sprinkling a little water on your lawn after a really hot day to cool it down more quickly and let it rest through the night. Deep-watering is best done in the morning hours.

     When I was a teenager, an older lady from church asked if I’d water her lawn and take care of her cat while she was gone on a trip for a couple weeks. I rode my bike to her house every afternoon and first fed her brown cat. He had light beige stripes along his thin body, and appropriately was named Peanut. There was no automatic sprinkler system in those days; I was the sprinkler system.

     You might not expect to meet God while hand watering a lawn, but every afternoon as the sun began to set, the fresh water would arc out of the hose onto her beautiful emerald grass, and I’d hum some of my favorite evening hymns –

Day is dying in the west, heaven is touching earth with rest…,
The day thou gavest Lord has ended, the darkness comes at thy behest…,
Abide with me fast falls the eventide…,
If I have wounded any soul today, If I have caused one foot to go astray….

     Peanut would cock his head and look at me, unafraid, curious. God always seemed somehow nearer, and peace would fill my soul.

     Need a break this evening? Looking for some peace? Go outside while the sun sets and do a little hand watering. Hum a couple of your favorite hymns. You never know who might stop by.


  1. Rick, welcome to the blogging world. Green grass is a given here in Maine, but I've lived in the west and know how much work keeping one green is. Evening is a wonderful time to be with God and, at least in my life, there's always a song or hymn to be sung.

  2. Ah, a land where green grass is a given. It must be wonderful. We in the desert are always fighting brown patches.

  3. Well, rain is a blessing and a curse. They power-washed the back deck at the rectory last week and the moss is already growing back in the shadiest area. From too much rain here, to too little there. God's creation is a fascinating place.

  4. Ooh. Moss. That can get yucky. I vaguely remember from a short semester spent in Florida, the downside of too much water.

  5. Rick - how delightful to find another turf grass nut like me!! I am now in NE Pennsylvania where growing grass is easy - I inherited a bluegrass lawn and lots of shade. I defy you, however to find a weedier place than here!! I grew up in Kansas, where grass was a much more challenging prospect. K-31 fescue was the norm and did well when cared for. I haven't watered my grass since I got here (except for a patch of new seed), and I truly miss it. I have come to think that yard work for a priest is satisfying simply because it is where we can actually see results - rarely seen in our ministry... blessings, brother -

  6. Dear Fr. C. - Yes, I think you're right about why it appeals to me so. It seems like so much of my life is spent in things that require thinking indoors, it's a blessed relief just to let go and be outside. Maybe I need to get a laptop so I can go out on my deck to work on sermons.

  7. We have lawn, lots of lawn, and lots of rain to keep it green. When we have our infrequent periods of drought, we don't water, because there's too much lawn. It goes brown, but when the drought is over, the green comes back. What concerns me here is the energy wasted in the weekly grass cutting during the summer. The lawn is far too large to cut without a power mower. Grandpère and I need to think seriously about an alternative to grass.

  8.      Too much lawn can be a hassle. I have a wonderful electric rechargeable mulching mower from Black & Decker. It works wonderfully and returns the clippings invisibly back into the soil so less fertilizing is necessary.

         In areas where I don't want lawn, but still would like a bit of green, I've put in some Virginia Creeper as a ground cover - it requires no care at all except to clip it back before we end up having a scene from Little Shop of Horrors. Unlike the south or back east, we don't get a lot of fall colors, just leaves turning brown, so I love how it turns a transluscent licorice red in the autumn.

  9. Rick, we'd have to find a cover that is suitable to the moist climate here, and Grandpère and I would have to be of one mind about reducing lawn space. He's not with me yet.


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