The place where I live works fine for me, thank you very much. It works especially well at 3:15 p.m. most days. Then I lie in a hammock leafing through mail or noticing that the mail has fallen on the ground. On a wonderful afternoon it is quiet, a mosquito or two gets swatted away, and at 3:23 p.m. the rhythmic squeal that is the school bus braking is my wake up call.
Our lawn in this suburban cul-de-sac neighborhood has brown patches and old leaves and random green growing things amongst the grass. Our kids don’t need to worry about pesticides since we don’t use them. We don’t have to worry about keeping up with our neighbors manicured lawns because we simply don’t and can’t.
Sometimes the place where I live does not work so well. I lie in the hammock listening to the sounds of the neighbor’s rider mower making even lines on his lawn and breathe in the exhaust fumes. I recall the day he rolled down the window of his car when he saw me with a trowel in my hand and said, “I’m proud of you.”
Now the lawn mower shuts off. I stop breathing into my shirt and bus doors open with a loud squeak. Footsteps run across the yard, a backpack is flung and I hear it hit dirt. My nine-year-old boy flies into the hammock.
We share an afternoon snuggle as gas fumes dissipate from next door and the hammock sags down into the dandelions.