Why Fresh Cut Grass Is Important

Fresh cut grass.  Not cookies, cakes, or pies baking in the oven or the smoke from a grill on a summer’s evening.  It is the smell of fresh cut grass that I love the most. 

That aroma reminds me of being young and on a soccer field.  The sun beating down on you.  You watching the ball on the far end of the field waiting for it be played.  Then you see the ball take off and hear the thump of the kick and watch for a split second to check the flight of the ball and judge the run of the man you’re marking.  In that split second your mind does thousands of mathematical and physics computations that you could not explain in a million years to know how fast and where to run.  Then you are both off like Labradors after a tennis ball.  You beat your guy to the ball by the width of your shoe and deflect it away to the right.  You knew your plan instinctively so you are able to gain a little more space as you both sprint towards the spheroid.  You collect it, take a couple of dribbles and play a long ball to the other side of the field and watch the last 15 seconds of your life play out in a mirror image 60 yards away. 

You would entertain yourself for hours chasing a round ball all over a grassy meadow with a bunch of other likeminded individuals.  You would push yourself, test yourself, and entertain yourself in the pursuit of what?  Freedom, joy, happiness.  Yes. 

That smell is probably why I love hoppy beers.  When I have a good IPA poured into my glass I always take the time to get a good whiff taking in all the fresh cut grass and piney aromas I can before I sip.  That is the power of good food and good drink.  Not just the enjoyment at that very moment, but the memories it conjures of the past. 

That breakfast plate you are so fond of at the diner across town isn’t about the greasy goodness of the eggs and bacon, it is about the Sunday mornings you had as a kid watching your father cook his one meal of the week and the joy of sharing that meal and that time with him.  That double cheeseburger at the new place down the block you love so much isn’t about your love of cheddar, it is about the burgers your uncle cooked on those long summer nights of your childhood.  You and all your cousins would eat and then go chase fireflies until it was too dark to see while the adults sat, watched, and heckled from their lawn chairs.  Everyone a big happy mostly functional extended family.  

Food and drink aren’t important just as nourishment and fuel.  They are important because they are a key that gives us access to memories we hold sacred in our hearts and in our minds.  The memories that make our life something more.  That is why cooking real food still matters and why the slow food movement has taken such a strong hold.  Yes, you can get your vitamins and minerals from a host of semi-edible substances and you can get your caffeine from semi-drinkable liquids, but you lose that connection with your past and the world that way. 

That is the difference between existing and living.  You can exist by joylessly performing all the necessary functions to keep your body alive.  However, to live is to enjoy the food and the drink that not only nourishes your body, but also your mind and your memories. 


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