David Lulka on the lawn

The condition of the lawn in winter presents a more difficult set of issues. The immanence of grass presents no ethical challenge when lawns remain stagnant in the late summer heat. During winter and spring, however, immanence rears its head more vociferously. The grass, new and green, prospers, growing to the ankle and then above to an inexact height. More prominently, I have had weeds that are taller than me. For my part I would just as soon let the grass grow and do what it will. And, to the extent I am able, that is what I do, because the gardening activity I despise the most is mowing the lawn. I despise it because I know there are things in there, many things, which have found, for the moment, a bounty that is good. Certainly, that bounty even feeds upon itself. But that is none of my doing. And so I prefer to wait, holding off the point in time when I come along and reconstitute its form and make it a proper lawn. I wait and I wait and I wait, as I know that when I am mowing the lawn, when I am enacting an aesthetics, I am killing many things.

David Lulka, “The Lawn; or On Becoming a Killer

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