This morning they mowed the grass on the church lawn. I was surprised to hear the whirr and moan of the mower. Fall has come, the leaves are flaming and drifting. I half imagined that everyone had stowed their mowers and readied their rakes. Not yet.
The sound of the mowers registered in my head, but the smell of the new-mown grass, as I walked along the path from the rectory to the church, overtook me bodily. (Why is smell so strong!) That sweet green odor, the earth’s perfume, intoxicated me on an October morning. It smelled of
charcoal and burger smoke
fireflies and mosquitoes and white moths clinging to screen doors
sprinklers popping in the morning
thunder and rain
oven-roasted car seats
sand and saltwater
I prayed this morning, and I am walking this path to a church. But this is all that matters, the smell of grass in October. I will not stop praying and I will always walk toward this church, but the point of all prayer, the end of all religion is to bring us to union, to that place where everything belongs and so do we, where everything including darkness and suffering is somehow good and right.
I stopped on the path, took a deep noisy breath through my nostrils. Ah, eternity in cut grass. This is all that matters. This is why I pray. This is why I walk this path.