The Perfect Freedom of a Meadow

Spring is in full bloom here on the coastal barrens of Nova Scotia.  And there are some who would want to neatly mow the grasses of our little meadow. Lawns, after all, have become synonymous with Western notions of how a well appointed home should look. But doing this right now seems savage to me. And our home is far from “well appointed” anyway, being situated within the crux of a nature preserve.

Indeed, Spring has unleashed a fury of colour and variety in our little meadow. And these places have sadly become all too rare in our world. They are often razed and scraped clean of their diversity to be replaced with a mono-crop of one species of grass; and they are frequently beset with life extinguishing pesticides and weed killers. Other times they are cleared to furnish the insatiable needs of urban sprawl. The housing and business industry sees them as great money makers since they are almost always level.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the smell of fresh cut grass and lawns can be fun to roll down or picnic and play badminton on. But there are no shortage of them in this world. And at a time when fragile ecosystems are being devastated at breakneck speed in the service of moneyed interests, I cherish this small piece of paradise beyond what I could ever describe.

I love the way the wind ripples through it as if pebbles were being cast into a still pond. How plump bumblebees bob through the tender reeds like drunken helicopter pilots with too much cargo; or how tiny birds peek through clearings as if negotiating a forest. The colours are truly revealed at sunset with breathtaking simplicity, and in the moonlit nightscape I like to imagine I am sailing through a nebula in search of a new star on a sea of sapphire drenched clouds.

I did mow a couple paths through it so that we can get to the trail, the composting barrel and to walk around and admire the wildflowers beginning to open. But I will likely leave it this way until the August sun dries much of it out. In the meantime I will revel in this sense of perfect freedom a meadow bestows on this humble admirer.

“How does the meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold.” ~ William Wordsworth


Kenn Orphan  2017

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