One of the many summertime outdoor chores we Real Women tackle is weeding. We put on our oldest, lightest-weight clothes, attach our ever-so-ugly gardening hats to our heads, strap on our dirt-encrusted gloves and we launch our assault on yard intruders.
When we are done, we wipe the sweat from our brow, stretch our aching backs, look longingly forward to a shower, plan to get more mulch as a way of prevention, and smile and gaze at our beautiful weed-free environment. Yet, we swear that if we listen closely to the discarded rubble in the wheel barrow, we’d hear very tiny Arnie impersonators saying “we’ll be back….”
At least once a week I’m out there fighting the good fight. Some days I’m limited for time, so I’m attempting to pluck up the worst and most showy weeds. Some weekends, I can spend a whole afternoon doing a substantial clean up. And as much as I feel it is a never-ending battle of me against them, I have to pause and admire them as a worthy adversaries. Here’s why:
- Weeds are Tenacious. As soon as we pluck a little green beast from its home, the weed will seemingly say “fine, you pulled me out, so I’m coming back next week and I’m bringing three of my friends.” Weeds don’t give up easily. And they multiply faster than the proverbial rabbit.
- Weeds are Brave. I have weeds in my lawn, in my garden, in the cracks of my sidewalk and driveway, and coming up through stones. Even though they know they could get plucked, cut, or run over, the bold buggers pop up where ever they want to, with an “I dare you” swagger.
- Weeds are Strong. Unless you are able to pull a weed up by its roots, you haven’t even come close to slowing it down. Break off a few leaves, and the plant is not daunted. And adverse conditions mean nothing to them. We spend hours of labor and plenty of money in order to pamper the rest of our plants, putting them in just the right conditions, pruning off deadheads, feeding them Miracle Grow, making sure they have enough, but not too much water and daylight. Heck, we might even talk to them. But weeds? They don’t need any sissy pampering. Baking desert-like sun? Bring it on. Flooding rain? Fine and dandy. Ignore it or sneer at it? Even better.
- Weeds are Proud. For the most part, weeds are not traditionally pretty. But they have no issues with self-esteem…there they are, growing right up literally among the roses and daisies, showing off like the best of ‘em, saying “look at me!”. In our area, we have a lot of Crab Grass. It is courser, wider and thicker than the rest of the grass in the lawn – it even is a different color green. Yet oh, boy, is it proud. So proud that it will happily take over the entire lawn and anything else in its path. It can grow apparently anywhere, and faster than anything else. That weed has ‘tude.
When my son was young, we used to watch quite a few Veggie Tales videos. (ah, how I miss cuddling up to watch cute creative shows with nice messaging… but I digress..). One of the episodes we enjoyed was the Rumor Weed. I remember one of the best lines was when one of the Veggie Tales characters said “eeww, you’re a weed!” and the weed replied “I’m a weed, you’re a talking carrot, and your point is?” And I just loved the matter-of-fact “yup, I exist and I’m just as good as you” attitude.
So this weekend will I go easier on the gangly green pests? Nope. I plan to still show no mercy, because I would rather have cultivated flowers and plants in my garden, not rampant weeds. Yet, as I dig out the most tenacious, brave, proud specimens, maybe I’ll take each one as a small life lesson. If they can exhibit that much strength, perhaps so can I.