Tag Archives: Rousseau

Mow to Zen

“I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop, I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.”

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Over the years I have come to realize that hiking is not the only form of walking that has a calming effect on my soul and allows me to think without anyone hassling me. Even though today is October 4th in the Northeast, I actually had to mow my lawn. Now I have expressed countless times to my friends, colleagues and especially my family just how much I love to mow my lawn. Every time that I do, I get the same response-”You are truly out of your mind.”

I then say to them, “No, no, you just don’t get it.  When I mow the lawn, I can pretty much guarantee that no one else wants to do it, which guarantees me a period of time where no one will bother me.” I can then get lost in my mind and think what I consider to be profound and incredibly insightful thoughts. Or, if I am not in the mood to think profound thoughts, sometimes mowing the lawn just puts me in my Zen place.

I can remember one time when my kids were much younger I had raised the level of the blade on my mower so the length of the standing grass would be higher. I thought that by keeping the grass higher, it would look better than the golden brown that was over taking my lawn.  As I finished mowing, I remember feeling really good until I heard the yelling. My son and daughter were going at each other at a level that, quite honestly, I didn’t want to deal with.

What was the argument about you might ask? I apologize, but the reason has been lost to the annals of time. And to be honest with you, if I didn’t see any blood, broken or missing limbs or a weapon, then I didn’t care. But what I did in an attempt to save my state of mind, and to allow myself to continue to wallow in my mental abyss was to lower the blade on the mower back to its original height and I mowed the lawn again, guaranteeing me another hour of peace.

And to steal a line from Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”