We all know that weeds are an inevitable part of life. When one plants seeds on any ground, there is the hope that one day the seeds will grow into a plant and that gradually the plants will yield some fruits or give some flowers. This was my particular expectation when two months ago my family and I embarked on a gardening lark. Of course, the decision to plant seeds came upon us almost on an impulse during an afternoon of clearing our back yard and trying to define it in some way or other that would give it our own personal stamp. How better to do this than plant our very own seeds.
It was with relative ease that we removed the remnants of what looked to be the previous plants that may have been planted there before us, and then proceed to prepare the soil to to be receptive to the water as well as be ready to receive new seeds. Having never thought over much about the intricacies of gardening, we perhaps merely assumed that as long as we removed the visible old and rather undesirable growth, the soil would automatically be ready to take what ever seeds we planted and allow them to grow. This assumption was made mainly because we were novices, I would like to believe.
After much excitement and anticipation of the time when the seeds would start showing growth and start looking alive, we were very proud indeed to finally see with our own naked eyes the fruits of our labour, as we began to see the promise of new life. Unbeknown to us this was only just the beginning.
As the winter rains came and went , watering our garden, the seedlings indeed became visible and great was our joy and sense of pride at a job well done. A success, this gardening lark seemed to be!
As nature would have it, the waters did not only nurture our seeds, but also resuscitated the remainder of the plants that had been there, which we had been so careful to remove, again, we decided to bide our time and give the plants a chance to see what would take form.
Considering how much of a pride and joy our new garden was to us, we never missed a moment to show it off to our visitors who may even have been surprised at the fact that we did some gardening in the first place. A sort of ‘so there’ kind of thinking. Many of our guest were pleasantly surprised and indeed appeared to share in our excitement for the new growth brought about by our own hands.
One guest, however, having perhaps some knowledge of gardening or plants, pointed out that one of the biggest plants that was growing in the midst of our little newly grown plants, was actually a potential hazard to the rest of the plants. But how could this be? This was one plant that showed so much promise, how is it possible that it was the one that could bring damage to the whole of the pot? In this spirit, we thought that perhaps it was a mistake and that this beautiful fast growing plant would not cause much damage, thus we gave it some more time.
As the rains continued and all the plants were starting to come into themselves, it became evident that they were all growing in their own right, but somehow the general growth seemed to have come to a standstill, ‘here and no further’ the little plants seem to say, and yet upwardly mobile was the dubious one, carelessly growing and thriving.
At noticing this phenomena, I realised also that some ants were getting attracted to the plants and somehow, they seemed to be getting more everyday, and the ‘weed’ was now looking spiky and not so easy on the eye or to the touch, so I thought, maybe we should remove this one and see what happens.
The offending plant was plucked out of its oblivion and sent to an early or maybe timely death, in order to allow new possibilities for the other plants. But, after a bit of time, it looked like the other plants were suffering, as if the removal of that one plant was having a negative effect on them. This was now a little bit of an unexpected surprise, as I had been almost convinced that that plant was the ‘bad apple’ and that removing it would bring salvation to the other plants. Why were the remaining plants ailing?
Again, only Time would tell.
Life continued, and I must admit I even began to forget about the progress of the plants, albeit I saw them almost daily.
During one uncharacteristically warm week I noticed that lo and behold the flowers were emerging and with time they started to bloom, I was ecstatic! We had done it, our plants were blooming ! Well done us!
My attention was brought back ever so quickly to again paying attention and admiring our flowers.
It is then that it occurred to me that the planting of the seeds is the initial step in gardening, however throughout one must expect the unexpected. One must be vigilant in case a weed starts to grow thrive while going unnoticed. Just as the trees lose their leaves at some time in the changes of the seasons, to allow new growth later, so it is with planting seeds. There is a constant tending process to ensure that all is still in order.
I realised today, how the plants in our garden reminded me of the process of life. It is sometimes necessarily to get rid of the weeds, so as to allow new possibilities to emerge.
The process of weeding may sometimes feel like you are getting rid of a good thing, yet it may be that by not removing what seems to be a perfectly normal plant, one my be blocking the newness of life from coming.
I now, with my hand on my heart, commit to always remembering to check up on all my gardens, physical, mental, and Spiritual, because Who knows? this may be the secret to sustaining a healthy growth process. A way of allowing the Process of Life to take it’s course.
Perhaps weeds are there to remind us to always take care.