One Man’s Weed

My back yard has been desolate for so long. It’s a simple patch of earth. Nothing more than the size of my apartment, really. Grass refuses to grow. Mounds of dirt and ant beds do well. But, it has been a great haven to enjoy because of it’s privacy. The bougainvillaea and bird of paradise have been darling. And it’s nice to be outside. I need the sunlight. Desperately. I like going out early mornings. And just at the hint of dawn I’m drawn to how sadly dead my back yard was. I even bought some wildflower seeds, had them scattered about to give life to it. But, sadly….nothing ever happened. I blame the birds.

IMG_1945However, I woke recently to see a patch of green. Yes, the whole back area was noisily screaming in a shriek of green begging to admired. And dotted about were speckles of purple flowers all alight with brightness and standing to give announcement. “Good Morning!” Clovers had over run my little back patch, and sadly, all who came to witness it whispered to themselves, “You’ve got weeds.”

Well, you know what? One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower. I was happy to see the vibrancy. Happy to be met in the morning with color and brightness. Happy to enjoy the frail little flowers as the punched through the earth and swallowed up whatever dew and sun they wanted.

Random flowers blooming here and there, not sheltered by the ideas of cultivation of heredity, blossom where they will and as they wish.

So that was what I put on my list tonight of my 30 Days of Gratitude. Wildflowers. For, they are a great metaphor for the personage in which we see ourselves and each other. Be mindful, or better yet, be skeptical of the environmentalist driving a Prius with a weedless yarn. Be nervous of people who claim that weeds are menaces. That is a weird social view of, “Only some of you belong. I’ll get rid of you that don’t.”

IMG_1946So, be a weed. Bust through the earth and claim your place in the sun, let your little petals float in the crisp morning air, and let your bright, simple colors be spied upon. As you stand proudly next to a bulb of irises, be triumphant in your equal importance. Shuttle up close to roses and daisies and share the sun with them. Smile and be reminded that someone thinks you belong.

One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower, and the only crime a wildflower is charged with is being too simple in the wrong spot. But, I promise you, if many of you gather together at once in a simple patch of green, you’ll be seen as the beauties mama nature intended. Just as I saw in that great patch of clover.

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11 comments

  1. Hey now – no badmouthing the weeds.🙂 As an herbalist, I have a grand appreciation for weeds. I love dandelion season! The flowers make a great pain killer (even for cats!), the leaves are edible in salads (some people even pay money for that!), and the roots can be dried, made into tinctures for kidney, bladder and urinary infections, or ground up and made into a coffee substitute (I haven’t tried the latter, as I don’t like coffee, but I’m told it’s a comparable taste). Now if they’re pretty, and weeds often are, don’t forget to say thank you to the Designer as you go about appreciating your wildflowers.🙂

  2. That was a lovely read! My old lawn back in Ireland used to surprise me every spring with its choice of accessories. Mostly I got daisies and dandelions but sometimes clover and once tiny, but very sharp-leaved, yellow thistles. Having grown up with a dad who sprayed anything untoward with a toxic cocktail of chemicals, I thoroughly enjoyed letting nature decide what grew where. Long may your lawn be a beautiful garden!

  3. This has got to be my most favorite post you’ve ever written. From one happy weed to another, shine on!

  4. A weed is just a plant in the ‘wrong’ place… I’m sure the bees don’t mind, and, my goodness, you do get some pretty wildflowers in your yard! Having said that, there is a patch of my lawn that doesn’t get cut because there’s wild orchids in it, and some lovely orange tall-stemmed flowers. Knapweed or, little bits of sunshine.

  5. Dandelions, clovers, thistles, violets, queen anne’s lace – they all have a place and a purpose – I love how they bring brightness to my yard in unexpected places, and my porch always has a plastic cup as a vase for the flowers my kids love to pick for me – no one can tell me that a fistful of colorful blooms is just a bunch of weeds – they’re gathered with love and given with the same (and we find 4leaf clovers all over our yard, and the goldfinches and butterflies LOVE the thistle blooms). You have been blessed with color – thank you for enjoying it and sharing it with us!

  6. We plant wildflowers here (I’m in Scotland) to encourage the butterflies and bees into our garden. Anything is a weed if it is growing in the wrong spot. And “wrong” is a purely subjective thing! *g*

  7. “A weed is merely a plant in the wrong place!” As I sigh over a beautiful photo of a hillside covered in lupine, an Australian friend shudders and regals me with stories of flame thrower trucks clearing square acres of these (invasive) beauties that wreak havoc with cattle ranches. The pink podranea that climbs over my bedroom terrace is a rampant weed in the trash heaps of South Africa. In Central New York State the same honey suckle that plagued my father’s D.C. yard is available at nurseries and garden centers just as it is in the south of Portugal. Go figure….

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