As a child, that was where I sat: in the grass. There were no chairs outside and, even when there were, it was grownups who used them. For me, it was the grass. It was there that I began to enjoy the smaller world around me. Bugs, different types of grasses, weeds, and worms made for an interesting experience, certainly more interesting than whatever the grownups, when present, might be doing.
When I was five, Dad brought a puppy home: Sparky. He loved to sit in the grass and we spent many happy hours playing in the grass together, further building my awareness of this simple joy in life. Sparky knew who he was and enjoyed being himself. Life was sitting in the grass. While sitting with him, I began to unknowingly discover the sense of freedom one receives when in touch with Mother Earth. As years moved on, I also discovered that sitting in the grass was a sign of contentment with oneself, a settling of stress and worries, a time when simpler desires enter the mind. Who can sit in the grass and not enjoy staring at cloud formations or find delight in birds singing in nearby trees? A time to dream, to imagine the unimaginable, to solve the unsolvable.
Being an adult brings the unfortunate ability to forget childhood discoveries, putting them away in the recesses of our minds while we focus on the world of adulthood. Decades came and went, wherein I sat only in chairs, and would never consider soiling any clothing by sitting in the grass. But life has the joyful ability to become new again, to relearn what one already knew. And so it happened for me when, once again, a dog became part of my life.
Learning came slowly, but over time I realized where the dog was happiest. For her morning walks, she enjoyed walking along the roads, where many neighbors had developed affection for her and stopped in their activities to play with her, but on her second walk, she always runs toward the rear of the house and the fields beyond. After a satisfying walk, she then insists on rolling in the grass to mark the end of the walk (our neighbor says she’s ‘breakdancing’, and there’s some truth in that) and I began sitting with her while she enjoys her dance. And the memories returned. Like her, I now also anticipate the end of our walks and the time together in the grass. Life is prettiest at its simplest.