Consider the Lawn Grass

Consider the Lawn Grass

A Story by Olivia R.H.

An essay contemplating humankind and nature


Writing is less about writing and more about paying attention.

And if writing is about paying attention, are there not different layers of awareness?

Consider the lawn grass.

What is it? An elementary language teacher always starts with colors and adjectives.

It’s green, sleek yet ruffled and ruffling. If you look closely, not a spring green but a hunter green, which emanates from its short, nodding tips in the sun. Broken only by the haughty lime-green of quack grass, it’s nevertheless stubborn and wide. Confident and cool, it allows the slope of the land to gently graze the eye without overwhelm. Feathery, it's dry and scratchy until one closes their eyes and gives in to solely the fingers’ power. Then, a lively moisture from within the strands touches the senses.

But what is it?

It’s a pedestal, the grass is. A field of beautiful and numbing sameness to illuminate the library or hospital or school’s heroic stature above. The eye finds geometric browns and blacks bold, like grand ships seen from afar, in the juxtaposition. The green green is an embellishment, a zest, a dash of earth spice. Just enough natural to instill a sense of long-lost home in the company of a cold gray building. It’s a falsity, a trick, a deception, and the man-made structure was built atop, within, beyond, because of--oh, add your own--to the land it has stolen. Concealing the fact that it has cannibalized the biodiversity once there and made what was once country just place, it makes one believe the few robins searching for worms on its spine are enough to constitute wildlife enrichment.

Isn’t it funny; the robins hardly notice when the picnickers come along.

Is the grass just one more free area, by coincidence supported by something with cells, for humans to make human use of?

But what is it?

The grass is short. No, it’s not short. It’s cut short.

A reminder, it sings softly of mankind’s impatience with inefficiency. It’s a compass pointing north towards climbing perfectionism, a puzzle of pieced-together dominance and hearty possession. It’s natural, but it's cultivated. More importantly, it’s cultivated in just the right way. It’s small, this shortness is. Small things are kept down for a reason. And aren’t all things, even the once-great Grizzlies, small to us? It’s vast though. We flirt heavily with it so to roll on it in spring afternoons and lay on its thighs in summer evenings. We touch and preen. We make it forget it’s ice to the heated wound of how much green we destroy elsewhere. Consenting, it allows us to use more and more of it. Isolating it from its family, a false and all-consuming, all-confusing love covers its coverage. The irony: the part of us that craved its wild identity in the first place is the part that keeps destroying its homestead just to have the reminder of it.

But what is it?

Conceptually, it’s the future.

With hospitals and tourniquets, vaccines and visions computerized, we shall grow. Like the lawn grass, we consume our own limbs. We look cute and prim in the process. Who shall care for rates of swaddled cradles tilted in scrutiny against rates of funeral-soup ladles in the attention economy? It’s the 21st century, we say, but dare I counter with the fact that there may not be a 22nd?

The soil of the past is mightier than one would think though. Writing is writing. However, beyond all, it’s experiencing. Fully.

I put down my pen to step out and join the sun and sparrows.

The tips, they’re not nodding. They’re drooping.

I crouch to press them, the green stems, until my pads reach dirt beneath.

© 2021 Olivia R.H.

Author's Note

Olivia R.H.
I would love some help making the word choice and fluidity stronger; I feel that it's choppy or unsophisticated at times.

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Added on July 13, 2021
Last Updated on July 13, 2021


Olivia R.H.
Olivia R.H.

Madison, WI

I'm a young writer who loves coffee, reading, writing, hiking, running, dancing, trying different cuisines, eating almost anything that's chocolate, and playing the piano! I also love Spanish and cann.. more..