I have been pulling weeds for an hour. Noxious, thorny, spiny, everlasting weeds. As I pulled, my back began to ache, my hands were getting tights and my face was grimacing. Some of those weeds were stubborn and frustrating, growing under rocks and through the white fence. The more weeds I pulled, the more weeds I found. I thought I had pulled all the weeds to come back and find more. One hidden under a spotted plant, one blending in with a tree, one pushing its way through the middle of the daffodils. The weeds will find a way. They will always push through. I thought, “Why all these weeds? Why can’t we just have the flowers and plants that are so pleasing to the eye and comforting to the spirit?” Now, I sit outside listening to the sounds of crickets, bullfrogs and cicadas, catching glimpses of lightening bugs, a real treasure of the MIdwest. I am enjoying the view of my garden and all the hard work it has taken to upkeep. I start to have an understanding as to why we have weeds.
As I pulled, some thistles overtaking and intimidating, I discovered some plants with spotted leaves waiting to be found, hoping for a chance at life. They just needed to be freed of those shadowing weeds. They would never grow with their life source, water and sun, being absorbed by a bigger and stronger weed. However, once the weed is uprooted, the dotted plant has a chance. Yes, it might have to try harder to progress but it will progress. It will have the chance to become what it wants to become.
The weeds sneak in, silently and suddenly and almost overnight, they are ready to overtake and strangle the life out of the plants. They grow quicker than have any right to. They choke out the flowers and plants, but if I keep these weeds pulled they will not have the chance to regain ground. The new plants can grow and flower and flourish. The daffodils, lilies, tulips will then overtake the weeds. Their beauty will shine forth over the mess of weeds and they will bring joy. What are the weeds in my life? The habits and distractions that keep me from growth? The deep rooted beasts overtaking my life? Why would I let weeds enter into my life? I don’t want them to take over my potential, causing slow growth or worse, no growth.
I learned a lot about weeds from Grandma Barb, when I first moved to Iowa. She would spot a weed and I would say, “No, that’s not a weed, it has flowers.” “It’s a weed.”, says Barb unapologetically. “But it’s so pretty! I love the yellow flowers”, I reply. “Well, anything you don’t want in your garden is a weed. That weed will take over and you won’t have any space for flowers.” A weed will start out pretty at first, but a pretty, flowering weed is still a weed. Things that might seem good in the beginning might not be good in the long run.
I will spend time pulling weeds from my life. I will not give them the chance to grow so large that they become nearly impossible to pull out. I will not look at the weeds as bad, but as learning experiences that help me to grow. I will let the flowers achieve their full potential, my full potential. And there will not be a weed polluting my garden.