We’re back from holiday and I’d say re-entry has gone reasonably well. We found and moved our oldest into a flat in London, dropped off our second down in Cornwall to indulge in the beach before uni kicks in and kitted out our youngest for Sixth Form – suited and booted – no mean feat in the Summer that is 2020. Re-entry is my best friend’s term from old space shuttle jargon. It’s that state between finishing a holiday and re-entry to your real life. Sometimes re-entries are seamless and other times I’m left wondering if my heat shield is gonna hold. Feel like it marks another part of the year – summer vacation done and dusted, tick. When we got back I was glad to see that all our animals and, of course, our tomatoes are thriving. Last count I had thirty-five on the vines just waiting to turn red. Not bad from the slice of tomato I placed in some compost back in April. I’ll keep you posted on what they taste like…crossing my fingers Miracle Gro doesn’t leave a residual flavour… Oh, and there’s beans galore too. If you want any runners or ‘french’ beans, let me know, they’re coming out my ears. What really surprised me though was the lawn. We, and I say this with great gratitude to the gods of weather, have had the sunniest and warmest English summer that I can remember in thirty years. I don’t like to jinx it. However, as we pretty much swam through late winter into the spring, I guess we were due for something a little drier.
Anyway, the grass, my goodness, the heat took a toll on it. If was as brown as it could be two weeks ago. It crunched when you walked on it. There was literally no sign of life. Nick couldn’t bear it so he asked me to make futile attempts to revive it with a sprinkler or two in the early morning or evening. But it was to no avail. It was as dry as the soles of my feet feel these days of home lockdown, sporting sandals since March and no pedicure in sight. At any rate, believe it or not our lawn is now looking like the scene from the old Star Trek movie with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. You know the one that made you cry when Spock sacrificed himself for the good of the Enterprise and then his body got deposited down on the planet, Genesis, which ended up being a planet that was revived from the dead; a virtual Eden? Yeah, that one. Well, that’s what’s happened to our lawn since about ten days of off and on rain. It’s glorious. So luscious. It makes me want to lie down in it, James Taylor September Grass style and just feel its freshness, its softness, its vitality. The come back kid. It’s left me wondering if we could harvest whatever it is in grass that helps it revive so well? I mean I’d love to apply some ‘grass’ DNA to my body, maybe my hair, add some water and come out looking all Benjamin Button young. I think whatever is in grass should be modelled for resuscitating anything that is spent and tired and looking like a lost cause. It really is so inspiring to see the grass taking off in tufts first and then the whole lawn new growth green. The blades are long enough now to even get a cut now – talk about thriving.
After these last two weeks especially, it puts my mind to wishing the grass goodness could be bottled and applied not just to me but liberally to my home country, the United States of America. I feel like it could use some TLC and a good soaking of gentle rainfall to cool it down and refresh it. The conflagration that is the presidential race of 2020 is becoming inflammatory. The state of the union, the state of the economy, the health of the population, the nation, the soul of its people is looking pretty beaten up and dried out right now. Some of the stuff is truly deep rooted. Some of what’s flaring up (rightfully so in my humble opinion) is like the dandelion weeds, prickly and thriving in the drought. But, I like to think the majority of the American citizens (like the electorate of 2016) is made of solid-er stuff and hardy grass-like stuff that can be rejuvenated in the right conditions. I like to think the majority of my fellow citizens want everyone to thrive, want everyone to flourish, want everyone to be able to live up to their fruition. This time of year I watch on Facebook as all my friends set their kids up in college housing. I image the on-line IKEA orders they had to do this year instead shopping in-store to stock up on dorm room essentials. I imagine how they discuss a strategy plan on how to social bubble and distance and remind each other to wear masks and wash hands. I imagine how even though it feels a bit scary we all want to encourage our kids to enjoy this special time in their lives and maybe even give them ‘the doorstop speech’. You might have heard of it. It’s the one that reminds students living together to keep their doors open so they can connect to others maybe even make a friend or two. I keep thinking about those gray wedges we shove under the door when we’re moving them in. Suggesting they leave them in place to begin with so they’ll be accessible and able to stay involved with others, not feel too isolated after we kiss the goodbye and tell them we’ll see them come Thanksgiving.
I like a doorstop wedge. It’s easy to move and does the trick pretty efficiently. What I don’t like are wedges forcing people apart. What I don’t like is what that wedge of a human being, Trump, has done to America. I hate how he’s done the opposite of keeping a door open of connecting positively with others. Instead he’s like that wedge a woodsman uses to split a log. That wedge to break apart something sturdy into kindling. Kindling for his fiery rhetoric to scare people and blatantly lie to them. I hate that wedge he’s placed between me and those I love who voted for him and might be considering to do so again. I hate how his toxic behaviour has stymied conversations about our country. He’s made them too contentious with his scaremongering tactics trying to convince people that only a country headed by himself will save the country from the very chaos he has created. He’s a living non sequitur in his logic.
Believe it or not, it’s hard even for me not to get swept up in the negative. Luckily, I have this expanse of greens to gaze upon while I settle my thoughts. It’s the Sunday before Labor Day, the new school year awaits and instead I am deciding to focus my energy on hoping. I am hoping this time around the popular vote in sixty-five days will match that of the electoral college. I am hoping with a full change of the seasons from the 3rd of November onwards, America will live up to its fruition. I’m praying America’ll soak up the nurturing it needs and get back to its grass roots. It’s time for all to flourish. It’s time, dare I say Spock-style, for all to Live Long and Prosper!