The principal things necessary for the life of men, are water, fire, and iron, salt, milk and bread of flour, and honey, and the cluster of the grape, and oil, and clothing.
I live in
one of those dastardly suburbs replete with a home owners association and an over reaching architectural control committee (emphasis on control). I moved here from a big city almost 14 years ago, buying a house in this 'burb thinking it was what one should
do to have a good life. I quickly learned that living by rules created by neighbors with too much time on their hands and little else to do are absent the ingredients of a life of "principal things". So I rebel in the subtlest of ways: I sow clover into my
grass, cultivate wildflowers in my front garden, have milk and farm produce delivered to my front porch and I keep bees.
Not all of my actions are simply to keep the ACC on their toes, most are because I believe these rebellious acts are essential to living
and living abundantly. It is a signal to those like-minded neighbors that I share their belief that there are higher pursuits than how straight a lawn is edged. I
want to be an oasis in this world of high pressure. I want to share my house, my yard, my children, my dog, and all my homemade goods: from spanakopita to mayonnaise to bread pudding. But all that is known about me in this 'hood are my weeds. Alas, they are
in fact a scandal to the HOA.
Lest you think all I do is annoy I will share that all I want to be is a real neighbor not a
hall monitor. I send my daughter to ride horseback at the neighborhood farm; I buy eggs from a neighbors' dad who raises chickens; I invite neighbors
for cocktails and s'mores around the fire pit (fire pits make better neighbors than a fence!) I have fought
the urge to conform for years. Ignoring for the most part, letters threatening to charge me a daily fine for said weeds. This, of course, will go into my permanent record and *gasp* potentially ruin me!! (*eye roll*)
The good news is that my philosophy has finally begun to pay off. Regular crowds of well
adjusted children-friends of my children-come and go across my slightly overgrown lawn. This, I am almost certain, is preferred to tyle="line-height:21.988636016845703px">shrieking cars and drunken teenagers spilling out onto a well manicured lawn (although
they do provide plenty of fodder for gossip at the annual meeting). So I invite you to join me in this "take down" of the 'burbs. Look for your own ways to rebel and be a real neighbor. It
will be great fun and will make the world a better place one homeowner at a time. Then eventually, when the weeds start taking over the yards of those homeowners who will be too old and infirm to push their mowers and edgers, we can hope to be their oasis