It has been a life-long dream of mine to live in a house with a name. What is it about calling something by name that makes it become something more than the sum of its parts?

At the beginning of the lawn-mowing season this year, I decided to carve out a meadow in our front lawn. I ran the mower in an organic line around a patch of grass on the north-side of our property. Then I scattered some native wildflower seeds in the grass, and in doing so, I gave our house a name: Meadowlawn.

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What possessed me to turn our otherwise-perfectly-normal-subarban-front-yard into its own eco-system? Well, it’s true that I heartily dislike mowing the lawn. But mowing around the meadow does not, in fact, save me time or effort. In fact, if you’re going to get away with having a meadow in your suburban front yard, you must keep the rest of the yard scrupulously tidy in order to reassure your more conservative neighbors that you’re not out to devalue their property. It actually takes me more time to keep the flowers dead-headed, the shrubs trimmed, the beds weeded, and the front walk swept than it ever took me to mow that patch of grass.

I suppose it has more to do with my heart for permaculture–the practice of creating ecosystems that nurture the land and the people and animals that live there. I have caught the Sweet Pea more than once lying down in the deep grass, sucking on a seed head, and contemplating the clouds. I ask for nothing more than for her to fill her heart with a hundred more such sweet memories from her time growing up here at Meadowlawn.

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