The Grass Along The Side Of The Road

It is now 0615. I’ve been up since 0430. I’m working on The Hanging Of The Wolf. That story is about the capture, trial, and attempted (note attempted) lynching of the fairy-book character The Wolf. He is known so well for huffing and puffing and dressing up in Little Red Riding Hood’s grannies nightgown.

At the same time my thoughts drifted to my driving along the highway two days back and passing a lengthy section of grass on both sides of the road. I noted as I drove the many scraps of paper and discarded cigarette butts (disgusting and dangerous as lit butts start fires) that lay in the sorry looking, closely cut, expanse of yellowed green that ran back to a tree line and then disappeared from view. I found myself focusing on the grasses nearest the road. The air rushing off the truck made the grasses bend and wave as I drove past and I noted how much of the blades of grass were pointed towards the road as if they were watching the passing traffic and – I felt lonely.

Yes. Odd feeling, I am sure, anyone who reads this will surely wonder about how I came to feel such as that. But, I did! That is the point. Somehow I identified with the grass. It is there, stuck in the ground, unable to get up and move around, but alive. So, what does it do all day except grow and wave at passing cars as the draft of air causes the blades to twirl and bow and hope the tires don’t wander and cross off the payment to crush them where they live. (Does grass scream? I wonder.)

Is it possible to think like a blade of grass thinks? Is there something I could or would learn from their presence in my life, although so temporarily and being passed at 65 miles an hour. (I think I was speeding at the time as I believe the speed limit there is 45. But that is part of the story. I was in a hurry. No time for anything and yet what is time really for?) So I was affected by the sight of the grass waving as I passed with, at first, no actual thought that I was driving past many lives who, although so close by, remained at a distance and without any actual contact other than visual and I felt an immediate kinship with the grass and a loneliness at seeing the blades of green wave at me and – I waved back.

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