Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Encouraging Weeds

Who says weeds are weeds and not beautiful, bountiful flowers?  This is the question my son and I were talking about on the way home from school recently.
He: Mom, what kind of flower is that?
Me: It's just a weed honey.
He: No, not the yellow one.  The pretty purple ones.
Me: Those are just weeds, too.
He:  Why is it a weed? It's so pretty!  What makes it a weed?
At this, I flashed back to an almost identical moment from my childhood.  We had gone down to the family farm to visit my grandparents for a week during the summer.  It was a house without running water, no cable TV, and so we spent a lot of wonderful time outdoors.  One day, after walking through the fields collecting all the prettiest flowers I could find, I got back to the house and proudly presented them to my grandmother.  I asked about what kind of flowers they were.  She smiled, and told me they were weeds rather than wildflowers.  Not that she didn't appreciate me picking them for her, because she did.  And she was very kind about it, but I still remember the feeling on not understanding how things that were so beautiful could be considered worthless weeds.

Seems kind of unfair to me, that so many pretty flowers that grow quickly and spread easily in even the toughest conditions, are deemed "undesirable".  Dandelions for example.  I know many people who are constantly working to banish these "weeds" from their yards.  I think the yellow blossoms are actually quite cheery.  And the little white puffballs that they turn into are the stuff of magical childhood wishes.  So why the negative feelings about them?  Those purple 'weeds' that my son was admiring are particularly beautiful when a homeowner has let them take over the yard.  It's a truly gorgeous sea of purple flowers when they are spread across a lawn like that.  But they are considered undesirable.  Go figure.

I can't help but think that some people are treated exactly the same way.  Just because they are in the 'wrong' place.  Maybe they've lost their home and are looked down upon for living in their car or a shelter.  Maybe they simply live outside the boundaries of what we consider normal.  Maybe it's something else that sets them apart.  Everyone has value.  Everyone has something good to give the world.   It might not look like we expect it to, but it also might be so much better than we expect too.  We have to look deeply inside ourselves to find out what it is we have to share, and we have to be open to the gifts that others have to share as well.  What can we learn from someone who is growing and surviving, even in the toughest conditions?  A lot, I think, especially in our neatly manicured little worlds.

Come back soon for the other part of this post, when I'll fill you in on the encouraging part...
Wish Flowers....Encouraging weeds Wishes, part 2.

May you be blessed today and always
by the beauty that is all around us.

1 comment:

megan said...

weird. I was walking the dogs this morning and saw a week growing from a crack in the sidewalk and it had a pretty yellow flower and I thought. That's pretty! why are people so mad at those guys all the time?

what a coincidence!