May 28, 2021
Several days ago, I poked fun at the caretaker who was mowing the lawn for the church behind our house. He had gotten the mower stuck twice and rather than learning the ground was too wet to mow, he instead learned what he needed to do to pull the mower out of the mud. You may be familiar with the adage “pride comes before a fall.” My grass has been going crazy since my friend’s lawn service had mowed it last week and I knew I needed to get out and mow before the showers moved in later last night. My pride told me that everyone else had mowed their lawns, right?
The local weather indicated there would be a lull in the rains we have been getting. It had rained last night but it would not rain again until the evening. The problem with mowing is not sitting on the mower, it is the preparation that needs to go on before you are able to mow. I felt like I needed to prune the rose bush and weed the front beds before I was able to mow. I got the two side beds along the driveway weeded and even installed new edging to keep the pea gravel from washing onto the driveway. While I still needed to complete weeding the other beds, I decided on just pruning the rose bush. I cut it back as much as I thought I could without sending it into shock. This bush had been the pride of Melissa’s mother, but as I have mentioned, it has not been well cared for lately.
After picking up four loads of rose trimmings, I decided it was time to mow. I poured the last of the gas can into the mower and then needed to jump the mower battery to get it started. I took off along the back fence and immediately ran into trouble. There was standing water in the back strip and I could see skid marks from the neighbor’s mow earlier in the day. While he had decided against finishing, I decided to power ahead. I quickly mired down in the wet lawn and was unable to move forward or back. I needed to get my truck to pull the mower out of the muck (sound familiar?). Perhaps my lawn did not need to be as nice as my neighbors, even if my pride said it did.
Thoughts: Pride is an emotion that can work for or against you. It was my pride in caring for my lawn that caused me to get stuck in the muck of the back yard. Other things have given me a good source of pride. Some are things I have worked for, like my book and advanced degrees. Other things have given me pride even though I had nothing to do with them, like the Royals winning the World Series or the state championships earned by our local sports teams. Then there are things where I got the ball rolling and let others continue the journey, like the accomplishments of my son and his family. We need to take pride in the accomplishments of the last year. Collectively we have developed vaccines, focused on becoming antiracist, and shown compassion for those stricken during the pandemic. However, we cannot isolate ourselves and have pride in our achievements while the world struggles with food insecurity, lack of access to water, and basic health care. To coin a phrase from Starship Troopers, “We are in it for the species.” Do the work. Change is coming and it starts with you.