Scything I enjoy more and more. When done right, and I am still learning for sure, it is a calming experience. Especially when scything early in the morning. When the world is still quite. When leaf & stem are still damp.
Hydrated fresh greens are most easily cut. Similar to shaving; moistening the beard increases shaving comfort. When working with body powered tools picking the right moment, when greens are most hydrated, increases the ease of work. After all this is a tool that is relying on human movement. One wants to choose favourable conditions, making the task more enjoyable.
give and take
The movement forward is slow, sometimes less then a baby step at a time. Meanwhile the scythe keeps gently arching through the grass. With every bit of time passed the blade receives some attention; One comes to a halt, brings the scythe blade upwards and gives it a few gentle passes with the stone. Doing this regularly assures the longevity and sharpness of the blade. This regular small break also brings rest to the body. One can notice a cyclic movement, of going forward and halting, of using and nurturing.
Apart from the increased ease of work, nurturing brings something else. By repeatedly giving time and attention, one inevitably forms a bond. The experienced benefit from nurturing drives ones appreciation and motivation to nurture again. Thus forming a caretaker relationship over time. I find it valuable, especially nowadays; to nurture also the material world, to honour that what has been created; By getting to know it and learning how to tend to it.
Scything makes little noise and clicks perfectly into an environment where tranquillity is valued. It enables one to start working early in the morning or late at night, as hand powered tools, such as the scythe do their job silently.
When the blade sweeps through the tall grass it speaks. It is an informative yet enjoyable sound. There is a satisfaction to the sound. The sound reflects the investment one made; how effortlessly the blades of grass separate from their stems. One can feel, see, but also hear when the blade needs a few sharpening strokes.
This cyclic movement of going forward and halting, makes it easier to scythe for longer periods of time. It takes practice, but with practice comes ease and with that comes a more effortless movement. With this effortlessness, awareness of the surroundings opens up. Soon realising one is not alone between the tall grasses. With unhurried approach one grants grass dwellers time to become aware of our presence. A gentle approach that spares lives and lets one discover them.
A scythe taken care off is a scythe for life. If taken care of and used properly, it will not ask for operating or repair costs. There is an initial requiring of the needed tools for keeping the scythe in good shape. After that the well-being of the scythe will rely on ones care.
Scything makes a beautiful balance between many aspects I find valuable and is definitely a tool I welcome in my environment.