For more years than I can count, my garden seems to have a big problem – neglect and weeds. It seems I just get a handle on them, then life, weather, other priorities and yes, laziness lets the weeds take over again.
Some of the things that kept me from being a faithful gardener I don’t regret. We got much needed rain, renovations done in our lake cabin, visitors ( adult ones but especially little ones ) that I gladly stop and pay attention to. Or there is conversation with friend or family, or even work !
Tonight, as I tackle the weeds, and make a good effort at cleaning it up, it almost becomes addictive. Finding the plants thriving despite being surrounded by weeds, thinning the grass from within the delicate carrot tops and rejoicing at new growth and small tomatoes on the vines. I love the harvest so it does make the weeding and upkeep worth it.
In the quiet, I take time to think. Certainly this years growth ( especially the porchulaca that I had pretty well eliminated ) is a direct result of last years “ lost summer.” No time to weed or even to harvest much of it when much time was spent at a Regina hospital beside my husband. How hard it was last year to “put away” my dreams of the garden, give away some of the harvest and face my limitations – hence the multiplied problem this year.
Weeds are often used as metaphors for life, and today that is what occupies my thoughts. The creeping weed, spreading out from one root and appearing to take over the entire space, but gone with one quick sweep. People can be like that too.. appearing powerful, and all confident, but really only held up by one root that is easily pulled. That single root can be their downfall. There are also the large spindly weeds – easily picked because they have thin and weak roots – they appear to be growing well but really have no foundation. As I pull at the thistle, stubborn, heavy and prickly, I remember that if I don’t get the whole root, it will grow back strong and thicker. One doesn’t want to get too close to the thistle, but they are prominent and can be pretty when flowering. We could be attracted to them until we see that allowing them to thrive can mean that the fruit bearing plants will shrivel.
It is not easy sometimes to find the good fruit amongst all the weeds, but as I pulled, dug and gathered a few bags of weeds I realized that my garden will thrive despite these intruders. Interesting, though, in my garden, intruders tend to be the norm. My garden seems to survive despite them and often the good plants choke out the weeds. Maybe this year I needed the weeds to take time to reflect.
I remember my granddaughter helping me weed last year. She was so excited to discover dill weed, putting it on every piece of her dinner for the next few meals. I thin out the weeds making sure I save some dill weed for her as she has already asked if there is dill – “like the pickles” – in my garden this year. Dill, though a good weed, tasty and fragrant can also take over a garden if controls not placed on it.
It is hard sometimes even with people, to discern the weeds from the fruit bearing vines. We turn our back and the weeds have taken over. Is it worth some work to discern the weeds from the vegetables so my garden can thrive.
I want a garden where all is beautiful and the weeds don’t choke out the plants. I think I want that for life too, but that isn’t real.. sometimes we need the weeds to be able to see the beauty. That takes a lot of digging around. That also takes intention – if I don’t go up to the garden to weed, I won’t even notice that the weeds have taken over. It is so much easier ” just not to look.”
I am in a spot right now where I need to be able to discern weeds from fruit bearing vines. Wish it was as easy in life as it is in the garden. I pray to God for that discernment. I can trust that He will be faithful to answer my prayer.