on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Mountain Mowing

In IICD Massachusetts on July 17, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Today I learned the intricate art of mowing a mountain. Believe it or not, I’ve never mowed a lawn before or for that matter, touched a lawn mower ( more domestic duties were delegated to me as a child- dishes, laundry, cooking). All of the residents are assigned morning chores (part of the communal experience) and mowing the lawn was my chore for the week.

I was given very brief instructions that consisted of pull the string to start and avoid rocks. Yes, okay I thought, surely I can do this. I can complete this task. It was fun at first, it was almost zen until I hit the hills. It’s such hard work to mow up-hill. I was sweating and panting, my arm and back muscles were straining (I got my workout for the day). Then I hit a rock and the machine became engulfed by thick billows of blue smoke. That was the end of that. Needless to say, I will be assigned a new chore tomorrow.

No bear sightings today. I have been so paranoid lately and not just about bears. We had a cook-out last night, around a bonfire and bbq pit. Some long-term volunteers who had just returned from a fund-raising trip talked about the ghostly sightings that have been known to happen on the mountain. I am not ashamed to admit that I was terrified and it doesn’t help that we are living on a secluded mountain in the middle of the woods. I’m now a paranoid person and of course the house I’m supposed to move into in a few weeks is the one that’s rumored to be “haunted.” Hmmmmm…

New people have arrived. I’m no longer the “new girl.” I hate to admit this, but I’m so excited that there is an American in the bunch. This is an international program, so we’ve got people from all over the world living and working together on the commune. Its really great, but it can be so hard to communicate. I have my friend James, but it’s nice now to also have another girl to talk and relate to. She has also been assigned to the promotions team. Relief!

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