As Spring progresses, the Rectory front lawn becomes a blaze of yellow cowslips. Last year we decided to leave the grass uncut, interested to see what else might appear and what insects this might attract. Predictably, perhaps, as summer progressed, the first flushes of colour died away, the tall grasses turned brown and the lawn looked increasingly unkempt. Finally, we realised that the time had come to cut it back, which was now a major task.
Undisturbed by weekly mowing, anthills had grown to considerable sizes. These were soon removed, but as the overgrowth was cleared, we found that moss had thrived; taken over. When, in turn, this was scarified, large bare patches remained. Now, as spring advances once more, grass is growing back. Moss is still all too evident and much work remains if we want a show-piece lawn. The cowslips? This year, as they turn, mowing will commence once more. Little and often does the trick, and don’t be seduced by the next passing fashion. Although the Rectory lawn will never reach show-garden status, under our care at least; we will, I’m sure, reach a reasonable balance once more.
Contemplating the lawn, and with fresh calls to mow less often, it occurred to me that we had grown a parable. We are the lawn and the moss in our life is what the Bible calls sin. The tall, uncut grass, is whatever distracts us from hearing God, while allowing the moss to grow, unseen. The longer we ignore it, the harder it is to clear.
Like the lawn, our lives respond best to steady, constant care; listening to those who know us and care for us; listening to God; and having listened – regular clearing up.
Rev’d Philip Payne
The Notice Sheet for 15 May 22 can be found here