I think I do some of my best writing while I’m push mowing my yard. Of course, I have forgotten my thoughts by the time I am able to come inside to actually write them down, but I’m confident that I have produced some profound cogitations while they lasted.
I do remember that the overall theme of my thoughts this morning was thankfulness. I began, however, by having a little pity party over the task at hand.
First, by 9:00 a.m. the outdoor thermometer read 90 degrees. Second, the humidity was extremely high. Third, I was PUSH mowing my yard!! Fourth, and I hesitate to write this one, the sun was fading my hair!!!
As I primed my mower, I decided to focus on the positive. I thanked God for a gas can half full and not half empty. When I filled the tank and the mower started on the first pull, I also felt gratitude toward the friend who keeps my machine in good working order.
As I settled into a rhythm of rows, I said a little prayer for all my teacher friends who were beginning their second full week of school. I also said a prayer of gratitude that I was able to enjoy the luxury of retirement and the time to mow my own yard.
In the midst of the heat and humidity, I felt thankful for a frequent breeze and a shady spot here and there. I thought about many others my age who could not physically manage this kind of work, and I was grateful for my health.
I waved at two neighbors who greeted me as they drove by, and I felt blessed to be a part of my neighborhood.
I returned the mailman’s wave as he delivered bills to my box. I sighed but then felt grateful that I had the money in the bank to cover those bills.
I saw a walking stick on my porch and smiled as I thought of my niece and nephew who had recently discovered this kind of wonder made by God.
I noticed more leaves in the yard than there were last week, and I realized that fall, my favorite time of the year, is on its way. Those leaves gave me hope that there is imminent relief from the oppressive heat. That hope gave me gratitude that God can provide relief from the oppressions of this world.
As I returned my mower to the garage, I thought of King Arthur’s hopeful and grateful attitude at the end of T. H. White’s “The Storyteller”:
The old King felt refreshed, clear-headed, almost ready to begin again.
There would be a day—there must be a day—when he would come back to Gramarye with a new Round Table which had no corners, just as the world had none—a table without boundaries between the nations who would sit to feast there. The hope of making it would lie in culture. If people could be persuaded to read and write, not just to eat and make love, there was still a chance that they might come to reason.