Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Spring Stinks

Someone has been grinding up the world's largest tree all afternoon. People mow their lawns at the first hint of new growth (why?); then these same zealots begin the 24 application regimen of fertilizing their yard and polluting my water (which they also do by taking tylenol and hormones and antacids and...).

While gardening, I no longer hear just the prison loudspeakers in the exercise yard, but the framers singing to Bon Jovi on the radio as they build the house across the streeet, people somewhere in the trees sharing lewd jokes, the scrape and rattle of strollers on the street with parents talking (screaming) to each other about what to have for dinner, the back neighbor practicing his golf swing and finding golf balls near--not yet in--my yard, the air force reserve refuling tankers having more touch and go runs than usual (runway is just a few miles north).

I could just stay inside, couldn't I? But then how could I be a 31 year old curmudgeon? Some day my shrubs and trees will buffer me, hide me, protect me, envelop me, and we'll commiserate together in the solace of our smugness and absence. Until then, anyone want to go pull weeds?

8 comments:

Frances, said...

Benjamin, it sounds like you have been having a bad few days, mood wise anyway. Or it sounds like you need to move. Doesn't the magic of spring penetrate into your deep middle? ;->

Benjamin Vogt said...

Frances--Someday, if I had 10 or 20acres, I think my life would be so incredibly peaceful and balanced--I'd certainyl write more. I say this knowing I'm likely wrong, but it'd sure help. I like my solace and quiet and meditative chunks in the day, and I hardly ever get them anymore. So I feel a bit upset and scatterd at times--as if I wasn't getting enough oxygen to my brain.

Layanee said...

Oh Benjamin, you make me laugh a bit but not at your expense, please don't think that. I was just wondering about those jokes. Care to share? Oh, and prison loudspeakers? What do they reveal? Someday you will have twenty acres in the country and then there will only be bird sounds. Until then, persevere and maybe get an ipod to block it all out.

ourfriendben said...

Ack!!!! My new neighbors decided to "clean up" their yard, and have been chainsawing all the black walnuts, destroying my concentration and leaving oh-so-attractive stumps to stand 'til the end of time. Apparently unsatisfied by the murder of trees that were holding the streambank and adding the only shade to their back lawn, they then chainsawed a 40-year-old trumpet vine that had grown into a fir in their backyard, since they didn't want it to "kill the tree." (Uh, if it hadn't killed it in 40 years, why do you think it would choose to do so now?) Goodbye, hummingbirds, goodbye, bluebirds, hello, erosion. And I'm with you on runoff, too. Oh, joy!!!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Layanee--Well, the prison loudpeakers are sort of bland: "The yard is now closed. The yard is now closed. Prisoners report to block A. Office Ryan to the warden's office."
OFB--Oh, I have been so upset with a new neighbor who cut down a nice clump river birch about 20' tall. My only guess is they didn't have as good a view of the asphalt street and the house across the way as they'd have liked. It was a gorgeous tree, and I'm sure worth 100s of bucks new! God forbid people in suburbs have plants with wildlife, which is want they want and why they move out here, so wtf.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I hear ya - or rather I can't hear ya over the sound of the industrial mowers that the next-door-neighbors & all the people behind me hired. These mowing crews came out & cut (what?) b4 the grass had even greened up. Then I'm out weeding by the fence & the crews were blowing leaves out from behind the neighbor's shrubs. Ever heard of a hand rake? Growl!

Benjamin Vogt said...

I know! People were mowing BROWN lawns this weekend. Waste gas, pollute the air with exhaust and noise.... sounds like fun to me. Growing up I lived on a lake, and every spring and summer it literally echoed with the sound of chainsaws and blowers (and of course boats and jet skis)--it was really amazing how constant it was. Ah, the Minnesota dream--live close to nature on a lake, then do everythign in your power to disrupt that peace.

Rosemarie said...

Nebraska sounds a lot like where I live -- but then you'll have to throw in screaming children to the mix. And maybe it's a syndrome, I'm only 32 and my husband said, "You're cantankerous today." Yikes!