Saturday, May 18, 2013

Minimalist Mowing

The morning was still cool, the dew lightening but still there, heavy in the shade.  It's the right time for mowing.  My skill with the scythe is still growing, but I start out with my freshly tightened and sharpened blade just to get the exercise.  I try to keep my spine straight, only twisting it back and forth, letting my legs do the shifting beyond that straight posture.  Swish...  The grass falls...  Perhaps not as wide or consistent a swipe as I'd like, but satisfactory for simply mowing tall grass for later use as garden mulch.  Swish...  My mind is not empty, the uneven ground keeps me busy guiding the blade along it, but there is something meditative about it.  Swish...  Every five minutes I must stop to sharpen the blade.  This too requires mindfulness for safety, but has a rhythm, a comfortable pattern that allows the busy part of the mind to be quiet and just soak up the morning sunshine and breezes.  Swish...

I highly recommend the scythe for: postage stamp lawns, growning small quantities of hay or grain, and any place where you might otherwise use a string trimmer.  Enthusiasts rise at dawn and mow an acre or two before the sun burns off the dew, so far I'm only up to about a half hour of work at a time, just trimming around the edge of the garden.  Do spring for the full outfit, with such a simple tool using it correctly is important, and the accessories and book help with that.  My outfit cost about $200, which is more than a cheap string trimmer, but I'll never have to buy new string or fuel, it's not hard to get started, and it's very good for my body to do this tai-chi-like exercise in the morning.