The problem with green, chest-high grass waving in the wind, tempting a fairer view of things from the other side of the fence, the lawn, the neighborhood, the highway, is that it is SO green, and SO wavy, and so explosive with pollen (poison) and histamine (kryptonite), that it all just makes me want to cry. Even short cropped green polo fields promise itchy eyes and unmanageable divets rather than the heaven you may envision. At this point grass of any sort, any length, anywhere, makes me want scorched earth late summer death to come to the fields and valleys, drying and rattling stalks of gold and brown until they wither and break under the strain of sun and wind. Which is not very gracious or eco-friendly. Or green.
I’ve never really had that grass is greener syndrome. Trips and travels have usually made me grateful for my own humble home. Time spent with those more accomplished in any field has almost always encouraged appreciation and effort, not envy. I’m lucky like that. Granted there is one sailboat I can think of that I would have traded our boat, beer, and dogs for as a package deal, and the one time I flew First Class I was pretty clear that I’d be happy to repeat the experience for the rest of my life, but GENERALLY, I’m not one to wish for things I don’t have or begrudge others their gifts and greenery.
Sometimes it is hard for me to know when I find myself wanting something different, be it a new puppy, a different wardrobe, a better morning routine, or a longer and more forgiving list of foods I can eat, whether it’s a case of misunderstanding what the OTHER promises, a grass is greener mirage that simply needs inspection and a dose of truth, or a genuine instance where change is in order. Am I just feeling sorry for myself and three days with three wishes would prove my path should never have veered? Or would that new way of spending time or indulging my sweet tooth lead to newfound joy and fulfillment? Who knows? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wishing. I wish I had more time, more land, more paintings to show you by this point in July, less belly, fewer allergies, zero excuses. But I don’t see those pretty alternatives as a perfect green paradise. The things I want come with prices, effort, downsides, pollen. If I don’t want them enough to pay for them, work for them, sneeze and wheeze and sweat and lose sleep and forsake my favorite foods and rituals for them, then I’ve made my choice. And my choice is the grass in my own yard. The grass my buddy Jack thinks smells like lawn mowers and dog poop. It’s short this week, and starting to turn a little brown along the edges. And I wouldn’t trade it for all the paintings or puppies or polo fields in the world.