The earth is the Lord's and the fulness there-of. This wonderful planet is God's gift to us, if only we could accept it as such, and if only all the powers that be, statesmen, politicians, educators etc would learn to love it as the Creator loves it!
I am 74 years of age and for 3 years have had a spine with 5 fractured vertebrae - result of osteoporosis.
I live on the Isle of Arran on the West coast of Scotland. After I retired I cultivated a wild bit of hillside and turned it over from bracken to first potatoes and then all sorts of vegetables and some fruit. Sadly for 3 years I have had to watch the weeds take over. No more vegetables - just some fruit which gives of itself without my help.
Shortly before this happened I had acquired an Austrian Scythe. Sheer pleasure - and a reminder of the joy of scything in the early morning in my teenage years! 'My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make', to quote Robert Frost. (And see his wonderful poem about the sensitivity of the scyther to other creatures we share this earth with - 'The Tuft of Flowers'.)
With a back that threatens severe spasms every morning when I get up what on earth was I doing thinking of anything to do with an instrument which functions entirely as a result of a twisting movement of the whole body - legs, arms and certainly the back! And yet that is just what I have been doing again, and I'm not at all sure that so far from finishing my back off (as one of your correspondents claims with the suggestion that farmers of old all suffered agonizing back problems through having to use the scythe), my back is actually well improved by the gentle swing of this wonderful instrument.
I have to use it carefully of course, but I have still managed to keep the grass in good shape around my cottage, sparing the wild flowers for the bees and the butterflies, and sparing my ears from the appalling sound (and my nose from the appalling smell!) of the strimmers which come out in force and ruin the peace of every summer. If only I could convert the devotees of these hideous little machines from their slavery to the beautiful freedom of the gently swinging scythe!
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