By Edgar Eduardo Gonzalez

“Listo para empezar el trabajo?” A deep voice sounds.

 “Yeah dad, what are we working on today?” I respond groggily. Through heavy eyelids I look for the source and find it is my father speaking to me. I move over to the bed of the truck and struggled to reach over the side of the truck. Only when I stand on the tire can I reach the rake and large bag.

I jump down off from the tire with rake and bag in hand. With the rake standing tall I fall inches short from the end of the handle. Turning my back to the truck I begin to pull the weeds from the sidewalk and planters. The force needed to pull out some of the weeds is enough to knock me back slightly but I keep on weeding. Before long I hear my father’s whistle. He tells me that today is the day I will start to use the lawnmower.

I nod and move towards the mower. After pulling the starter, the machine roars to life. A gut wrenching feeling ensues as I hesitantly grab the handle. My dad begins to explain how to use the machine in front of me. Every word is taken in carefully for fear that I might mess up and cost him or that I disappoint him. I take his instructions, start up the blades and begin to cut the green grass one step at a time.

My Saturdays did not consist of waking up to watch the cartoons on the television. My Saturdays consisted of waking up to the strong dirty yet so familiar odor of gasoline and birds’ chirping as grass was placed on the street. The strong rustic aroma of freshly cut grass was a scent I enjoyed. I was sweating at 8 in the morning while others were in bed still asleep. Instead of being awakened by the roar of lawnmower motors I was the one waking. I was working but I did not see it that way. I saw it as I was restoring order to the chaos that Mother Nature brings. It was much like an adventure.

To this day I continue to pull at the starter of a mower. I have embraced the working man’s struggle. I am constantly told that I must study and get a job in an office but I enjoy the feeling of being closer to the earth. I can see the beauty of nature when it’s cluttered and when it’s tamed. I look toward my future knowing that whatever job it is I must do, it will become enjoyable. I look to embrace college as the same and find the joys in furthering my knowledge.