I may be a gardener, but I think it’s important to differentiate the type of gardening I prefer as I’ve learned that there are two types of gardeners. There are those who perceive gardening as flower nurturing. These are the people who love to plant beauties in their landscape. They know the difference between perennials and annuals. They know when to cut back rose bushes each year and which plants entice the right insects to help in pollenating. Let me be clear, that type of gardener I am not.
I am on the other end of the gardening spectrum. I like to garden produce… things I can reap the nutritional benefit from versus the eye-pleasing benefit. Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers, but planting flowers in my landscape is something that makes little sense to me as after a few months, they go kaput. Instead, I’d prefer putting my blood, sweat, and tears into tomato planting, strawberry pruning, and cucumber vine weaving. I’m THAT type of gardener.
So when you are the type of gardener I am, picking weeds from your landscape can baffle you. I can’t quite understand how the pesky weeds make it through the tight woven (and quite expensive) black landscaping fabric. I mean, recycling newspaper stops them in my veggie gardens for crying out loud! And how fast those weeds can grow, especially when its takes months to watch my produce reach its full potential.
If I didn’t know which type of gardening I loved, I cleared that up early one morning, when the sun had barely rose and my kids were still tucked in their beds, as I picked weeds out of my landscape’s mulch. With each grab of the weed and pulling of the root, I found myself getting more and more frustrated as merely days earlier I had already completed that task. Now, the unwanted plants were interwoven in my boxwood bushes and monkey grass. Their origin questionable, but their annoyance extremely present.
I typically don’t sweat the weeds in my landscaping except on days where company is showing up. And this day in particular, not just any company was coming over. Our house was on the market, and a potential buyer would be meandering up my front walkway to consider if they saw themselves living in the home I had made a family in. That day was important, and what do you do on important days? Pull the weeds.
Besides hearing the birds chirping that early morning, I was left with the only other conversationalist around… myself. And any conversation between me and myself is unpredictable. This morning, I was debating the stupidity of weed pulling. I had a laundry list of countless other projects requiring my attention, and yet, here I was, pulling weeds that I knew would resurface the next morning. What a wasteful task, and yet, there was something quite satisfying about each weed root I collected. It was as if the world’s currency was in root exchange because I couldn’t collect enough. Each one I added to my collection felt more valuable than the one before.
But as with coin currency, there is only so far that greed can take you in life. Sure, the weed pulling was satisfying, but something was missing. Even when I pulled literally every sprout that was unwelcomed and my landscaping looked as pure as the day it was planted, a piece of me was left unsatisfied for I knew that it would only take one trip around Earth’s axis for new ones to sprout. The job wasn’t complete. And it never would be.
I took a breather, resting on the steps leading into my home, as I knew when I walked inside the chore list for getting the rest of the house prepped for a house showing would overwhelm me. And for that moment, as I soaked in the sun’s rays and breathed in the crisp air, I realized that this veggie gardener learned more about life picking weeds than I could have planned for an early morning outdoor adventure.
You see, with each weed I pulled I realized how beautiful life would be if we took the same due diligence in weeding out the toxic relationships around us, in weeding out the unnecessary worry that plagues us, and in weeding out the negative energy that occasionally creeps into our everyday moments. If we were as meticulous in identifying those who hold us back as we are in finding the pesky weeds, we would feel a bit more satisfied than any clean landscaping can bring. If we put the same amount of care in what we choose to invest energy into as we do in ensuring our façade appears as we’d like (or, in my case, that my house looked sellable enough), then we’d be golden.
Rest assured, just as weed pulling proves, if you don’t maintain your relationships, your priorities, or your personal habits, new weeds will resurface. Even when you put out landscaping fabric, toxicity can take root if you aren’t prepped and ready.
Whether you’re a gardener or not, know that you will always hold the weeding tools. They may not look like a dandelion weeder or be as solid as a digging spade, but they can be just as effective and possibly even more. For it’s less about the tool and more about the intention. Its about your focus – and if you get to the root of what is holding you back and eliminate it from your life’s landscape, you are destined to not be suffocated by your own weeds and be positioned to fully bloom.