keeping the dandelions

I was walking home last night up to the house and for the first time that I can remember felt a sense of shame that our house was looking dowdier and more run down that the other houses in the cul-de-sac. It could use a lick of paint and the grass ‘needs’ cut.

The thing is that I don’t think the grass really needs cut but feel obliged socially to fit in with the narrative of the tidy lawns in all the rest of the homes.I don’t think that the grass needs cut because I was watching two goldfinch eating dandelion heads on my lawn, dandelions that would be obliterated by the lawnmower or house proud gardeners who think of them as weeds. No dandelions means no goldfinch. I’d rather have the goldfinches on long grass than a billiard table surface. It seems a bit pointless to spend money on buying in seeds and putting them in feeders to attract goldfinches when you grow your own.

The pressure to fit in is powerful though. I don’t want to be the blow in that brings the neighbourhood and makes the place look untidy and unkempt. So instead I will pay for petrol and pay for getting the lawnmower serviced and walk around keep the grass short all summer. Somehow keeping the grass short  has become tied in with being some type of Christian witness (because I’m respecting the culture of the place). I’m not sure I want to go too far down this road mind you..Image

 

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st seamus and the house martins

The continuing weekend of  small time misery continues,
still in the midst of it all a moment of grace supplied by the birds,
a swirling flock of house martins flying behind the house,
darting and arrowing over the Lagan and trees.
Most days I mightn’t even notice,
maybe nobody else noticed or even cared as it’s not a big deal
but it was there out the window.

It reminded me of one of my favourite Seamus Heaney poems, St Francis and the Birds…

St Francis and The Birds

When Francis preached love to the birds
They listened, fluttered, throttled up
Into the blue like a flock of words

Released for fun from his holy lips.
Then wheeled back, whirred about his head,
Pirouetted on brothers’ capes.

Danced on the wing, for sheer joy played
And sang, like images took flight.
Which was the best poem Francis made,

His argument true, his tone light.