A lawn is a poor excuse for a grassland. Try to get lost on a lawn. Close your eyes, spin around three times, drop belly-down to the earth and open your eyes. You’ll still be on a lawn–there will be the road, there a square building, the sidewalk. Try that same game in a prairie and you’ll open your eyes in a foreign world, a tangled jangled world with no horizon, crazy lines building a thick mat until they’re so packed in your vision that you might as well be blind. Lawns are for knowing where you are, knowing what you will step on, knowing who owns the earth underneath them, lawns are for borders, lawns are neat maps of tiny countries, lawns are for exposure, nothing to learn, nothing to hide. Grasslands are for being lost–and found, for smelling the death, for listening to the wind-hiss of plant life, for finding and missing, for hiding and springing out, for everything shifting, for being everything you know, for knowing nothing. Lawn is the picture-book of world; prairie, the bone-deep written literature.
Hope Greene lives and works in the middle of a very large grass patch that she mows just enough to keep from being ticketed. She is a big fan of weeds and other things that don’t fit where they’re supposed to. Check the lost and found at hopegreene.com.