What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions. For me, a weed is a plant out of place. ~Donald Culross Peattie
Friday 17 June 2016
As we drove down the road, Rozy kept noticing all the Queen Anne’s Lace. It’s June in Georgia and there are huge, delicate, compound flowers everywhere. They look like they should be on the back of your grandma’s sofa not by the roadside.
Rozy: What is the difference between weeds and flowers?
Me: Perception. You get to decide. If you want it in your garden, it’s not a weed.
I then went on about the benefits of dandelion greens and other plants that have uses that we’ve long forgotten. I’m pretty passionate about native plantings and noticing what manages to reseed and survive without a lot of intervention from me.
I would have little to no grass in the front yard if our HOA didn’t insist. I would rather have a yard filled with paths and beds of veggies and zinnias and hearty perennials.
We can in fact only define a weed, mutatis mutandis, in terms of the well-known definition of dirt – as matter out of place. What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it. ~E.J. Salisbury, The Living Garden, 1935
And then, because plants love to hand me life lessons, I got to thinking about qualities in my own life that I call weeds. There are for sure some things that just don’t belong. My free-spirit can turn into isolation and my love of learning can become a perpetual research project that never results in product. I’m also a storyteller which can turn into inaccuracies that sell others short and create non-existent safety issues. I definitely have to keep tabs on those behaviors. I pull those weeds quickly.
Weeds are nature’s graffiti. ~J.L.W. Brooks
However, there are other qualities in my life that flower and have medicinal purposes; qualities that are resilient and persistent. Things that the world would call weeds, but that I want growing in the garden of my soul.
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. ~Doug Larson
In a world of manicured lawns and six-packs of petunias from the hardware store some of my bohemian ideas and contemplative habits don’t always align w productivity and efficiency. I’ve made peace with that. I’ve decided to keep the ability to stay awake and aware of my emotions, even the darker ones. I’ll keep learning new ways to stay engaged with passion and emotions in a responsible way. And I’ll continue to forge a path through the dark woods for myself and others.
I learn more about GodFrom weeds than from roses;Resilience springingThrough the smallest chink of hopeIn the absolute of concrete….~Phillip Pulfrey, “Weeds,” Perspectives
BE in your life,