The Cosy Kitchen Diary

  Recipes, Tales & Tips from a Greenhorn

Monday, 15 April 2019

The Scythe

He bended the legs, twisted the upper body and kept the blade below the waist. With gentle, rhythmic movements he drew the scythe through the grass, its whetted blade glinting upwards. The muggy summer air grew thick with chlorophyll and the scent of hay.
Twirling in elegant semi-circles only the sound of a tinny delightful whoosh could be heard as the clover fell.
In Great Britain they use a scythe. Across the Channel they pull a scythe that is not as curvy or heavy as its English counterpart. Africans wield the machete, which is better for longer grass and jungle. In Asia they swish the disc-slipping sickle.

Scything is a skill. It requires competence, flair and finesse.
It is rhythmic, gentle, relaxing, elegant and empowering. The ability grants satisfaction. The shoulders ache in contentment.

The scythe itself is cheap and lasts a lifetime. It is more accurate and nimble than a lawnmower, less expensive to maintain and almost silent except for the hypnotising whoosh. But perhaps the best thing about the scythe compared to trimmers and strimmers is the way it works alongside nature instead of against it. Scything, because it cuts the grass longer than a strimmer, is kinder to timorous beasties.

Compared to lawnmowers and trimmers the scythe is simply the superior tool. Compared to mowing, scything is the superior skill. It grants feelings of harmony, peace and contentment that are no comparison with the satisfaction felt after mowing.

Many things, like lawnmowers, snatched for convenience and modernity are inferior to traditional methods and tools. Anyone can switch the flick on a microwave, not everybody can cook. But the satisfaction and pleasure felt when tucking into your own homemade pie is of no comparison to the satisfaction and pleasure felt when tucking into your pre-packed, microwaved ready-meal.

As ultimately every human being searches for peace and contentment, it is maybe time to pick the scythe back up.


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Brigitte Franssen 2019
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