The beauty of weeds

We spent much of our weekend working in our garden—a pastime my husband grew up with and I am warming up to. Our yard is on the northwest side of the house, and by mid-afternoon it’s too hot for a fair-skinned maiden like me. Spring and fall are my favourite seasons out there, because my SPF 70 lasts at least an hour before I start to burn.

Our hope is to eventually have a mostly-work-free back yard, as though such a thing exists. We’re making progress though. There’s a wonderful baby patio–last year it was my reading nook, and this year it’s our little bistro.  There’s several spots we are reworking, and this year we’ll be digging up all the remaining grass in favour of eventual pathways and raised beds. We have plans to put a railing and a stair on the pergola we built last summer (my new “office”),  and to plant hydrangeas behind it against the north fence so they echo the ones on the south fence. We’ve hung bird feeders to welcome our winged friends, and have planted bird-friendly flowers that may or may not have a chance to bloom. It is a beautiful place to retreat to.P1070699

The one thing I don’t enjoy are the weeds. In part because the lawn is in such bad shape, the weeds seem to be a bigger nuisance than usual. They are tenacious, determined, deep-rooted things. It takes a lot of work to pull them out completely, trying to get at the last bit of root so they’ll reconsider a return visit.

As I was digging, I reflected on the weed behaviour in my life.  Some things–like my right to be right, or my need to hold on to a perfectly good mad–should be eradicated every time they show up. It’s a constant, a thing I can count on, unfortunate though that may be.

But in other ways, weed behaviour is something to strive for. Somehow they survive, regardless of their setting. Their roots go deep, until they find the nourishment they need. Some bloom in places where logic suggests they shouldn’t. And others creep along, inviting like-minded seedlings to join them until they form a strong network of support for each other.

The noxious ones need to be removed, again and again, until they decide there’s no home for them here. There’s a lot of things in my life like that.

Even as I dig up the rest though, there’s much to consider. I’d like my kindness and compassion to take root as stubbornly as the weeds do. I’d like to have a burst of joyful colour when everything else seems bleak. I want to link my roots with others to create a support system that works.

That’s my life though. In the meantime…the weeds in the yard have to go.

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