He brushes away the last grains of sand from the grass, the vast greenness of the neatly brushed lawn never fails to make him feel good, useful. Nonetheless it is what lies underneath, what nobody knows, that makes him love his job. Grass is not just a collection of small leaves, it is so much more.
He started this job when the recession kicked in and the demand for craftsmen in the building industry decreased. He was used to working on physical demanding jobs, often running up and down construction ladders, working high up, never close to the ground, all day long listening to music playing loudly from the radio and joking around with the guys.
The first time in his new job, when he was handed over a brush for working on the lawn he laughed out loud, but shut up rapidly, silenced by the stern looks of his superior, it was not a joke. Cutting the grass with his tiny garden shears and brushing off the dirt is considered serious business, a job that demands a high level of accuracy.
Inwardly cursing the recession and unemployment he set to work, missing his comrades, their jokes and the loud music, the last part replaced by music from his earphones. Only once he whistled at an attractive female tourist, which was rewarded with a reprimand that he was now working at a college and not a public area, such behavior could not be tolerated.
One day, a few months ago he forgot his earphones, cursing silently when he found out. He was in for a very boring day. Like the days before he kneeled down on the grass and started the cutting and the brushing, hearing nothing but the sound of his shears and his soft brushing and the murmur and comments of the tourist in the background. But after a few hours he started to hear something else, like little voices humming, although it was very soft and hardly audible. The sound intrigued him, it was a bit like music, but not like any music he had heard before.
Next day, when he put back up his earphones, something stopped him from turning on his own music. He unplugged himself, listening to the soft sounds of which he was now sure were generated by the grass. It was like the voices were calling him, trying to tell him something. This went on for some days until he got more and more used to the voices and he could distinguish words in the soft music generated by the grass. They were inviting him to come and have a look underneath. Using an excuse he dug a manhole next to the grass, knowing he could not hurt the grass. He just lifted a tile next to the lawn, to be as close as possible.
That night he stayed at the college and went down, invited by the little voices, digging a little bit aside until he was under the roots. The grass was cheering and talking to him, very excited this time! It suddenly struck him. He was looking a big brain, all the roots connected like synapses of nerves, idea’s, thoughts, pulses going through, back and forth underneath the whole college, the whole town!
‘Yes dear! This is where we collect thoughts, input from above. This is where we combine and dream up new concepts, this is indeed our brain. From here we whisper our dreams into the world, for those who are able to hear. Thank you for brushing away the dirt from our receptors, thank you for keeping our head clean.’
Looking at the new sign he put up in the lawn, he brushes away the last grains of dirt from the lawn, listening to the soft voices, humming wonderful ideas to him. He records them all and listens back to them on his headphones, digesting it all, waiting to tell them to the world when the time is ripe.