Spring has arrived! How do I know? Sure, the lovely weather we’ve been having in early April (here in Philly) is a clue, but there’s an even more important sign. I mowed the yard for the first time this year!
The Joy of the Cut
For a suburban guy like me (born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago), cutting the grass is about as close we get to communing with nature in our own neighborhood. The smell of freshly cut grass, the way it sticks to our shoes and hands, the rumble of the gas-powered mower and, of course, the smell of petrol as we fill up the tank before we start — these are the sights, sounds and smells of the Great Suburban Outdoors.
The first cut of the year is a time of promise. As I pushed my Honda lawn mower about the yard this week, I daydreamed about all the wonderful improvements I am going to make in my yard this year. Oh, I know, I am not much of a gardener and I won’t achieve even a fraction of what I dreamed, but still, I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to fantasize about my award-winning garden, while working in the sun.
One of the great pleasures of cutting the grass with a power mower is the sense of solitude. It’s hard to hear above the sound of the humming motor and spinning blades, but those same sounds offer a place of solitude. No one tries to speak to us when we are cutting the grass; they know we can’t hear. We have the chance to be alone with ourselves and our thoughts, yet still came claim ‘family credit’ for doing our chores. (Why do you think dads across the USA, and presumably elsewhere, claim the mowing of the yard as their fatherly right and duty?)
A Robust Testing Process
I mentioned Honda in the title of this post because I have to hand it to the men and women of Honda who engineered the lawn mower that I own. I’d be first to tell you that I do not take the greatest care of my mower; I don’t even know the model. When last season ended, I simply pushed the mower into a corner in the garage. I didn’t drain the petrol, wipe off the old clippings or anything else.
Yet much to my surprise, the machine fired willingly to life on the first pull of the string! Can you believe that? The motor hadn’t been started in months, yet as soon as it was needed, it sprung into action. Although I’m no engineer, I have owned a few old cars and motorcycles. Getting an old, dormant engine to start on the first command after such a period of inactivity is no simple feat.
So, my old, beat-up ‘working in the sun’ baseball hat is off to the people in R&D at Honda. That must be a solid testing process that results in the production of such a quality engine.