How To Turn A Weed Into A Flower

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to weeds. With their long, strong limbs and sometimes fuzzy, sometimes sharp stalks standing erect in the soil, they seem to almost challenge a person to come and pull them. Pulled one day and back the next, they don’t take it personally that some people despise them. They’re like all the best people in the world —strong, persistent, and afraid of nothing.

Even uninvited, weeds make the best of all situations. They’re not afraid to grow their knotted stalks and uncolored seeds next to the most beautiful and vibrant of flowers.  They’re in the way, ugly, just asking to be picked, so we pluck them from the ground. One open-fisted swoop and the mighty hand has them gone in a blink.

But how do you know that a plant is a weed? A weed is in the way, unpleasant to the eye, and distracting among all the other plants. A weed is what you make it.

Weeding has always been something that stole hours from my mom during the summer. Out all day in the hot sun, my mom would try to verse me on what to pull, what to let be, and what to reroot. After 22-years, I still have not learned a thing.

I constantly try to pull the petunias, keep the purple deadnettle, and reroot the dandelions. My eye doesn’t work the same way as hers. It should be easy to figure out, just look at the one that doesn’t belong, but I still don’t understand a thing.

I know that grass should not grow in between the cracks and the garden should be tended, but to me it all looks so beautiful. Growing there all in unison with another, how can you tell some that they don’t belong? Instead, I turn them all into flowers.

Just like that, all is well in the garden. Once and a while you’ll get some that start to bust into the other’s territory, and those will have to go. Eventually they will all grow together, leaf to leaf, and you won’t even be able to tell the difference. That is, until summer returns and some are asked to leave. Then the process starts all over again, no one learning a thing.

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