Just a Touch

Some people, when they need luck or calm or comfort, rub their rabbit’s foot, knock on wood or put on a favorite t-shirt. These tactile rituals are part of the way we come to terms with the world. If life is going to be difficult or challenging, or maybe even just unfamiliar, these gestures help ground us.

I wrote about something similar a couple of months ago — walking past a certain business and the man who works there — but this is a little different.

Pictured here is my favorite lawn (and probably favorite house) in Medford. Lawns like this are rarities in this neck of the woods, much less the gate and swooping driveway. It’s a very nice house, spacious and well maintained, but what really draws me in is the lawn. Even in the photo, it looks almost velveteen. I guarantee, it feels like that, as well. It is some of the softest grass I have ever seen or touched. Of course, since I grew up in Florida — the land of hastily planted, coarse sod — most of the grass in New England awes me. I remember my first spring in New England, one Sunday evening when I went to the BU Beach and walked barefoot on the grass there. Soft, dewy, and a shade of green I had never seen before — it was intoxicating. I can still see the light in the sky, feel the coolness on my feet.

When I walk to work, I walk past this lawn, and often I pause alongside the low brick wall to run my hands through the dewy blades. It’s almost like petting an animal, it feels so soft and alive. And for a short while, if only for the remaining duration of my walk, I feel uplifted.

The other morning, I had a thought. If I walked up to the front door, rang the bell and asked the owner if I could pay $20 to take a nap on their lawn, how would they respond? It’s almost tempting to try.

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