Isn’t nature awesome? It never ceases to amaze me. The natural world is capable of so much more than we mere humans are.
Case in point: Grass. I recently watched my back yard get covered in 9 inches of snow, and it remained in place for a week. While it was beautiful, I couldn’t help wondering what was going on beneath it.
Imagine being covered in a thick, cold, wet, smotheringly heavy blanket. Imagine being plunged into temperatures below freezing for days on end. Imagine not being able to see the sun during that entire period.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I’d be dead. Stick a fork in me. I’d be done.
And yet, once the grass was exposed again in a thaw that is still making slow but steady progress even as I write this, it was as green and perky as ever. Incredible. Dare I say it? Miraculous.
Okay, yeah, I get it. There is a scientific explanation for it. I have every confidence that this phenomenon can be accounted for. But I’d much rather just gaze at my intrepidly green back yard and consider myself lucky that it is content in its beauty and comfortable in its role in the overall scheme of things. Because if it had a union, it would probably rule the world.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie “Pleasantville”, I highly recommend it. A boy from the 1990’s is obsessed with a sitcom from the 1950’s called Pleasantville. It’s your typical show of that era, showing a world that never actually existed, in black and white, where the mother wears pearls and high heels to do housework, the father gives sage advice and is highly respected, and the children are well mannered and, well… pleasant. But when 1990’s boy suddenly finds himself in Pleasantville, he starts to realize that perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
I seem to be living in Pleasantville since I recently bought my house. It’s in an isolated little valley where all the neighbors know each other, and everything feels safe and clean and drama-free. Everyone has a dog. I’m even on a first name basis with the mailman and the local convenience store clerk. It’s this oasis of calm, with each of us in our very own cute little houses.
At a time when the wider world seems ever more chaotic and scary, I love going home to my little valley. It’s like taking off shoes that are two sizes too small. Finally, a chance to wiggle my toes.
I love living in this fantasy land, and I’m going to do my best to maintain it for as long as I can. Are cracks forming in the façade? Well, yes. A few people in the neighborhood drink probably more than is warranted in certain situations. But so far, they’re happy when they drink, and I like them, and it’s really none of my business. One neighbor is passively aggressively critical of my benign neglect of my yard. Oh well. And I can’t get a decent cell phone signal to save my life.
But you know, in the overall scheme of things, those are problems I can live with. I love my little neighborhood. Just don’t expect me to wear high heels while I do housework. In fact, wouldn’t even count on me doing housework on a schedule that makes sense to anyone other than myself.
So, it’s official! I am buying a house! I’m so excited.
During this waiting period, while all the paperwork gets processed, and in between packing by fits and starts, I am starting to imagine the many ways I will make this house a home.
First of all, this place is really, really small. And it has very little storage. I see several trips to IKEA for shelving and cabinetry in my future.
And while the house is small, the yard is fairly big. My dog Quagmire is going to love it! But I’m going to need a lawnmower. And lots and lots of plants, to take up some of that space so I have less need for the lawnmower. I’ve always wanted a weeping blue aster pine, but I’m not sure if they fare well in Washington State. I’ll have to do some homework. I also insist on having a lilac bush and a forsythia, because my mother adored them. And I love Chinese maples. Oooh! And tulip trees! And junipers!
And I’ll need a couch. And tools. And…
Whoa, Nelly. Get a grip. All this is going to cost money. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yadda yadda.
Oh, leave me alone! Can’t you see I’m nesting, here?