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Posts Tagged ‘confession’

Maybe it’s just that time of year … .. because here I am thinking about weeds again.

In a few more months, weeding is a lazy chore, done on a stroll through the gardens picking out the wayward dandelion.  I keep an old bucket handy to take on my strolls then, and by August, it rarely gets full enough of weeds to bother walking over to the compost pile.  The vegetable boxes are the same, simple to pluck out an unwanted straggler whenever I’m out picking beans or checking the tassels on the corn.  It’s a quiet, pleasant activity:  A warm evening, a light breeze, a tall glass of iced mint tea, taking a few moments to sit in the cool grass and tidy up the edges of a flower bed.

Not now.  This time of year I am frantic.  In Vermont, we get one, maybe two,  good days of spring.  It is cold, bare, frozen, snow still on the ground; and then the rain comes, things begin stirring, the leaves pop out; then POW! everything is growing like weeds and the chores multiply, and it’s summer already!  So, I’m frantic.   Especially this spring.

Usually I manage to keep the gardens FAIRLY under control;  but last summer– gardening simply didn’t happen.  Everything thrived on neglect.  Physically, struggling with the set-back of a case of Belll’s Palsy (a neuro-muscular affliction), I simply couldn’t do it all, so it didn’t get done.  Nothing got mulched, nothing got dead-headed, nothing got weeded, and this year, OH MY!  Last summer’s bare soil received every spore on the wind, every dropped seed case, every unchecked rhizome, and now the natural process of sprouting has taken over.  And that means lots of little baby clover, violets, feverfew, dandelions, and poppies!

prolific poppy weeds

I keep a little patch of annual self-seeding poppies between the Star-gazer  and the Madonna lilies.  By prudent dead-heading and then judicious sprinkling of the tiny black seeds, I can keep the patch just about right.  And what happens in that unfortunate season when there is no dead-heading, prudent or otherwise?  Why of course the prolific seeds profligate and I now have poppies emerging like a carpet throughout my entire un-mulched garden.  Yikes!  And I need to get my vegetable boxes ready for planting and divide the daylilies and get the roses fed and mulched and the perennials are growing a foot per day and soon I won’t be able to manage a trowel between them let alone a scuffle-hoe, and there-are-all-these-poppies-growing-everywhere!!

Oh, Father,  I pray as I work at subverting the plethora of poppies without  harming the surrounding perennials, is my soul, left untended, so easily subject to being overtaken by bad habits?  Do tiny seeds find a place to land when I neglect (or refuse) to prune away that which I suspect is undesirable?    I recognize a tendency in myself to make excuses and slide into denial about certain habits that are probably not good for me.  One, for example.  Sometimes it is comforting and relaxing to snuggle on the couch with JR after a long day and disentangle from the busy-ness by watching a movie or a recorded show.  Perhaps nothing wrong with that, but I have been avoiding the conviction of too easily turning to violent action dramas and ignoring the disquieting impact in the deep, pure places of my own soul.  I try to convince myself that it isn’t so bad.  But somewhere, deep down, I know.   And the more I ignore it, the easier it becomes to fall into the unhealthy habit.  There are others, of course.  The extra cookies.  Staying up too late.  Sleeping in too late.  Too convenient little white lies.  And these are just the ones I care to mention.  I have left the lovely garden of my soul untended in this way…  Oh, Lord, that I would have the same passion that I employ on my undesirable poppies to let You root out the weeds of my own self-deception and self-indulgence.  Tiny seeds can grow into a mess of big weeds.  I plan to be on my hands and knees out there tomorrow morning, taking care of that carpet of unwanted seedlings.  And I’ll be trying to pay attention to my choices this evening.   I know there are bigger and harder battles, but this is where I am being convicted, just today as I think about weeds.   At least right now my weeding trowel will do the trick.   I won’t need to get out the spade, or pick-ax, like we used on the old tree stump last year.

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