Delight 18: Grass

Not that kind of grass. Grass represents summer which as a Canadian is something I feel we savor more than those who have never or rarely experienced -40F/C temperatures.

Grass, for me was first associated with baseball. John Fogerty’s opening line of Centerfield says it well:

Well, a-beat the drum and hold the phone

The sun came out today

We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field

Baseball diamonds are special places. Even the word “diamond” adds a bit of delight to what is essential a pasture. I remember seeing major league ball parks where the groundskeeper would etch a logo into the outfield.

It’s totally unnecessary, superfluous and yet brings delight to those watching and playing. My love affair with grass shifted to golf courses. As I began playing more golf as a teenager, I also worked on a golf course and learned a little about growing grass, types of grasses and how to maintain them. I can tell you about Bent, Bermuda, Rye, Poa Annua, Kentucky bluegrass and various other strands. The experience of walking on these carpet-like surfaces is in itself delightful. The softness, the smoothness and the smell are all part of a visceral experience for me. I golf a lot and this sensation is something I think about every time I’m on a golf course, even if it’s the course I’ve played hundreds of times. Going to a new course only heightens my awareness.

While I’ll likely never work at a golf course again, my love of grass shifted to my lawn. I cut my grass way too often and way too short. I completely understand that it’s better to have your grass a bit longer but I’m going for a certain look. I often double cut my grass to mirror the crisscross pattern you’ll see in outfields and fairways. No one in my family cares or comments it’s just for me. Having dogs has complicated this process. During those -40 winter days, I ski all days with the best snowboard pants and let me dogs do their business in the back yard resulting in this look in the spring.

All those splotchy patches need reseeding. I get on my hands and knees and meticulously try to revive each patch. It takes several weeks but eventually, it comes back and after a fresh cut, looks like this:

And I take pictures of grass and occasionally in the winter when it’s covered in snow, I look at these photos and smile knowing I’ll have a chance to rebuild and recreate this little piece of heavenly surface.