Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.—Voltaire
We don’t employ any yard workers other than ourselves. Our lawn is not one of the trim and neat, well-manicured pieces of property. We do well to keep the lawn mowed and probably wouldn’t do that quite as often if we didn’t have a neighbor who religiously reports us, and everyone else in the neighborhood, to the city should our lawns begin to look a touch unsightly. We wouldn’t give a fuck except for the $200 fine. In the places we can’t mow, there are thorns.
Most the thorns are behind, around, or under shrubbery. Thistles grow along our side of a neighbor’s privacy fence. He has a pool. We’re glad he has a fence. Broken glass can be found alongside the house, where panes from the storm windows didn’t quite get put up on time. None of those things actually bother anyone because we seldom venture into those areas, so they don’t get addressed. Thorns and thistles grow, the broken glass just lies there, a thin layer of roughness.
Playing outside isn’t’ safe, though. There are more human thorns than those of a botanical nature. They run the stop signs, plowing through the neighborhood streets at speeds that would be illegal even on highways. Gunfire peppers the otherwise quiet sounds of the neighborhood, though I find it interesting that no one ever seems to get hit. The human thorns here apparently have really bad aim, for which we are thankful.
Throughout life, thorns are going to happen, whether botanical or otherwise. Some, like those that grow with certain flowers, we can do nothing about. Others, though, need to be cleaned out every once in a while, even if they don’t seem particularly bothersome. Looking across our lawn, or the neighborhood, the thorns aren’t really visible, but we know they’re present, a danger lying in wait. They are yet another of autumn’s illusions and the only remedy is to pull them out by the roots.