This I Believe

Adam - Palm Bay, Florida
Entered on January 22, 2007

I Believe Crop Circles

I have a crop circle in my front yard. I awoke this morning to spiraled grass in two opposing adjoining sweeps, long and low on the wet mat of the soil. Six feet wide and here, in Palm Bay, on my one-eighth acre parcel, in my front yard, crop circles. And the cars go whizzing by. It is a private showing.

My front yard has not been cut in two months. We have decided to replace, pull out, do away with the non-native plants and allow the native to return, take over. It is a small thing to do and of little effect – my small home with the yard of native plants among the weekend mowers, gas trimmers, electric weed-eaters, leaf-blowers, grind-metal edgers. It is small and incredibly conspicuous.

Sections of the lawn have been pulled of grass and the naturally growing succulents of our area have retaken the sandy soil. Long red fleshy pencil-stems cover the ground and they are covered by small, puffy fat-needle green leaves and, they, spotted with small flowers in red, purple, yellow, blue. Sun mimosas trail, gather, subsume the open land, sending legs here and there of delicate leaves and up into the air, stalks of purple and pink puff-ball flowers. All together, a glorious mat of green leaf and rainbow flower not but six inches at its highest point and no need to mow, no need to cut, no need for gas fumes, exhaust fumes, chemical fumes or weekends spent in service of grass.

But the sections which have not been pulled, they grow wild, high and green, full and deep and talked about as the neighbours walk by. The grass grows four feet high, some topped with red flowers, large purple blooms arrive every morning and, by the afternoon, fall to create a speckled three-dimensional star-map of fading violet, suspended within the net of interlacing leaves. Florida poinsettias, orange jasmine. Plants and flowers I do not know the names of and do not want to know by name. They are, somehow, more natural, more real for my inability to place a name on them. Who am I to tell the flowers what they should be called?

And, in the midst of this, crop circles. And why not? One does not find crop circles in mowed yards. Faeries do not visit the space between mowers and clippings. But mine? Four feet high? Why not? Why not nocturnal visitors in the moistening pre-dawn patting out waves of elegance and delight in the spindles and leaves? Why not?

This is what I get for not mowing. This is what I get for inviting the invisible to my home. This is what I get for opening myself to the stares and quiet talk of my neighbours. I get crop circles. I’m fine with that.