Once again it is summer, and I find myself staring face-to-face at
what I seem to grow best in my garden – and in my lawn – WEEDS!
Strolling around my yard, instinctively I scan
each square foot for telltale signs of those
pesky, persistent, plants that, no matter what I do,
seem to crop up overnight when I am not watching.
Burdock, Black Medic, Dandelion, Canadian Thistle, Clover,
Purslane, Oxalis, Timothy, Crabgrass, Pennyroyal, Wild Carrot . . .
With each new find my spirits drop a little more
as I contemplate the never-ending battle against
foes so numerous and so powerful that it seems
I cannot win this never-ending war.
Himalayan Blackberry, Foxglove, Buttercup, . . . and so many more
whose names either I can’t remember or that I have never seen before.
Some dictionaries say a weed is a valueless plant growing wild, especially one
that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
I purposely grow beautiful and medicinally useful foxglove in one part of my garden,
but its aggressive habit makes it an “unwanted weed” among my vegetables.
And though wild and terribly invasive, I love to pick Himalayan
blackberries to top my morning cereal or to make a cobbler for dessert.
Other dictionaries say a weed is any undesirable or troublesome
plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted.
Some of my weeds have pretty little flowers, but they look out-of-place scattered
in the middle of the lawn or peeking between rows of carrots and beans.
Some weeds are edible, some medicinal, some actually quite beautiful, but
in my garden there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place.
In addition to the vegetables, fruits, and flowers, I grow grass. Not just any grass,
but lush, green, Kentucky Bluegrass. But at least five different kinds of coarse
grass species have invaded my once beautiful lawn, and it is now
an oddly appearing mix of green and brown “who-knows-what? ” WEEDS!
But today, as I crawl around on my hands and knees digging and pulling weeds,
I feel a kind of kinship with these intruders into my little idealized garden world.
Like the caretaker of my home’s garden and lawn, I am also the custodian
of my personal garden, my life, my soul. Like this season of my little garden,
my current life is filled with so many useful, and even beautiful, plants, the good
habits, the positive character traits, and a mix of lessons learned and karma repaid.
The lessons learned were, in previous seasons, but weeds in those former lives, and the lessons
yet unlearned are the weeds of this life to be dug up and pulled for the beautification of my soul.
The persistent, undesired thoughts; the insidious, unrelenting judgment of self and others;
the pervasive doubts; the long-standing, centuries-old fears, some of which I am only
vaguely aware; and the incessant demand for perfection in an imperfect world; . . . and
so many more whose origins I can’t remember or that I have never recognized before.
With each revelation my spirits drop a little more as I contemplate the never-ending battle
against foes so numerous and so powerful that it seems I cannot win this never-ending war.
And yet, there is a place for everything in this universe, and everything is in the perfect place it needs
to be for its own evolution, its own eventual coming to perfection. Lessons unlearned become lessons
learned, and if not now, then later when the time is right. And who determines when the time is right?
I do! I sowed those seeds in the soil of previous lives and I choose which weeds to pull NOW.
And like the gardener of my little summer vegetable plot, I know that every weed I
pull NOW is one less weed (and all it’s seeds) that I will have to pull in the future.
Funny how nature mirrors for us if we but open our eyes.