Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The wonder of weeds and weeding


The wonder of weeds and weeding



June 1, 2010



By Julie Kay Smithson
propertyrights@earthlink.net



People often refer to undesirable things as the bane, or harm/ruin of their existence. How weeds came to be so loathed is beyond my understanding. Weeds, after all, are simply plants that grow where we would rather they didn't. When weeds sprout and thrive in our flower beds or lawns, they actually offer us positive opportunities!


The view when one is bent over or on one's knees, weeding, is different. Things may be seen at that angle or level that are invisible from the standing position, be they insects, tiny new leaves, or the colors of the dirt in which we are working. Fragrances, too, offer a smorgasbord for our sensory sniffer, as some weeds smell pungent, others aromatic, and still others, sharp or without discernible smell.


There is something about sitting on the ground that replenishes a corner of the soul. Though we don't usually see it thus, part of us is kith and kin to the earth: our physical makeup. We are spun of wonderful cloth, but our feet are still bound to the clay and firmament. Is there an essence given us by the very act of finding and plucking weeds? I don't know, but it soothes me and gives my all a time of calm, when the frenzied pace of highway or shopping area are as removed as if on Mars. Weeding helps my body remain supple, keeps my fingers and eyes in sync to work as a team with my muscles, bucket and helper tools at hand. My fingers, no longer young and straight, but sculpted by living, offer themselves to me to consider and appreciate as I weed.


As children play in the mud and dirt, we often see only future laundry contributions and cleanup duties. Should we contemplate the connections that bring children to their knees, eyeing something from that special vantage point that we return to when we weed? Weeds bring us chances to glimpse -- or revel in -- moments of peace and harmony with nature. To enjoy our gardening time may be our best times to "go child" again and find the wonder of weeds!



355 words.

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