God, on Lawn Care
By The Gazette Editorial Committee
From Issue 41: Winter 2019
GOD to ST. FRANCIS: Frank, what in the world is going on down on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now, but all I see are these green rectangles.
St. FRANCIS: It’s the Suburbanites that settled there, Lord. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It attracts only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green, fertilizing it each spring and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it; sometimes twice a week, and then most of them rake it up and put it in bags and pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow, and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away? These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord, but when the grass stops growing fast, they water it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, the leaves form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No! What do they do to protect the tree roots in the winter, to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: They go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough! I don’t want to talk about this anymore. St. Catherine, what movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
ST. CATHERINE: ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ Lord. It’s a story about….
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.