Hiding insidiously . . .
While I lost an hour hunting for them
Fair warning to you. I rarely rant, especially in writing where my words can linger to haunt me at some later date.
On this lovely spring morning, despite the humidity, I made my usual stroll down to the street for the newspaper. Along the way, I groaned at the tiny weeds peeping between the expansion joints of the driveway.
I pulled a few, but I had a newsletter to write, and their extraction would need to wait for another day. Satisfied that I had resisted the urge to get just a few, I saw them.
The lantana recovering from the winter freeze peeked out from “the weed” crowd. I don’t know the name of this insidious plant, but it mostly spreads underground tricking me into believing I have eradicated them all.
This weed knows how to hide and out-maneuver the weed puller. Those small roots at the end of the weed? No, that’s a ploy. I’ve learned to grab the rooty tentacles hiding just below the surface when I can see them. I come after them with a vengeance for nearly an hour.
The prolific weed consistently tries to claim the garden bed and viciously waits to regrow while I smugly walk away believing I won this battle. I have not. In a few days, if not weeks, I will return to repeat my work.
That’s how it’s done. Weed grows. Pull weed. Weed laughs and grows again. Pull weed.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Nature has a purpose for those weeds (but I don’t know what it is), and many of them grew on this land I call home before me and my chosen plants arrived. I cultivate blooming plants to add beauty and give space to butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
So do the weeds.
Tomorrow, flowers will bloom and weeds will keep popping up in places not to my liking. George Washington Carver described a weed as a flower growing in the wrong place.
Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass recognizes our partnership with nature.
“In a garden, food arises from partnership. If I don't pick rocks and pull weeds, I'm not fulfilling my end of the bargain. I can do these thing with my handy opposable thumb and capacity to use tools, to shovel manure. But I can no more create a tomato or embroider a trellis in beans than I can turn lead into gold. That is the plants' responsibility and their gift: animating the inanimate. Now there is a gift.”
—Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
For National Poetry Month this week, I wrote about life and death in a season, clinging to bits of hope.
In this interview, Robin Wall Kimmerer describes the science, gratitude, and our responsibility to nature.
I’m always finding new musicians and songs that I missed when they were new, like The Waterboys—The Whole of the Moon.
“If roses were not special weeds would not envy them.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo
Find a little wonder this week amid the weeds and flowers.
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