Living life is a lot like caring for my yard. Two years ago in September, my wife and I along with a few friends laid 22 pallets of Tifway 2 hybrid bermuda sod. That is a lot of grass! Now, I am not an agricultural, horticultural, archaeolgical or turfgrass specialist. But there are some things I have learned about starting a yard and maintaining the sod. As I look back on that, I realize that some of those things have some correlation or parallel with life. So here are five ways that life is like my yard.
- There will be different growing seasons. Last year, my yard’s first growing season, we had a pretty bad drought. I had to constantly water it (until the “do-not-use-any-water-outside” notice came. This year, we’ve had lots of rain and it has been pretty pleasant -in the 70’s this week in August in Mississippi is unheard of. I haven’t had to use the sprinkler hardly at all. Life is like that. Sometimes there are very difficult seasons where the sun beats down, the heat is on and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. Other seasons, everything just goes right. It’s pleasant, nice and it’s easy-going.
- With consistent work and care, it will be a very nice, pretty yard. When we first laid the sod, we had to pour water to it, sometimes twice a day, for about 2 weeks until it got established. When I’ve been consistent to water it, fertilize it, cut it and get the weeds out, it has looked nice. When it’s been neglected, well it just doesn’t look as good. Aren’t we like that as people? When we’re careful to take good care of ourselves, mentally, physically and spiritually, doesn’t it make a difference? Can’t people tell?
- It needs the sun and rain to grow. Sometimes, the sun just gets so hot, I wish it would go back in and not come out again. Sometimes it rains and seems like it will never stop. But if there were no sun and if there were no rain, my grass wouldn’t grow. In life, there are those things that we just wish would go away and then there are the times that we just seem overwhelmed and flooded by our circumstances. Those things, though, are what often help us to grow and mature as people. As much as we’d like to tell them to go away, it’s through the experiences, whether good or bad, that we are made as people and our character is developed.
- You can’t get too complicated, especially early on, and overfertilize. This is where we tend to try to make things complicated sometimes. I was told that you don’t want to use any fertilizer on new sod until it’s been through the first growing season. You can “lightly” fertilize it but you especially don’t want to use any systemic weed-killer. As the yard progresses, you can use more and different products to fertilize and weed the yard. I’ve kind of found that too be true in life. “Keep it simple, stupid,” has been a catchphrase I’ve heard a lot. Sometimes we try to make life too complicated when simplifying it is what we really need.
- Unless you do something consistently to get and keep the weeds out, they will eventually invade it and make it unattractive. When I first laid the sod, there were no weeds. For the first year (since you’re not supposed to use weed-and-feed) I was pretty good about handpicking the weeds. But as time as gone on, that has been more difficult as more and more weeds or unwanted grasses have crept into my yard. After cutting, as the grass grows, those unsightly weeds are more easily seen. We live life with a lot of “weeds” in it. Those weeds grow and if we’re careful not to get them out of our lives and control them, they just have a way of taking us over and controlling us.