In a previous post I mentioned that my vegetable garden has been sprouting through the spring in a particular state of ambiguity.
As all the little seeds I deliberately planted in May began to germinate and grow, so did the variety of weeds and volunteer plants begin to emerge from the soil.
In many cases it was difficult to tell them all apart, good from bad, wanted from unwanted.
In one particular case, the case of the neat rows of deliberately planted carrots versus the scattering of rogue dill weed, the new shoots looked virtually identical in their one and two leaf stages.
Unable to tell the guests from the squatters, I left them all to be — carrots, dill, and a small assortment of other little plants turning the raw soil into a lush gardenscape of green sprouts.
Then this past weekend something interesting (though not unexpected) happened.
The dill began to mature into delicate, blue-green thread of delicate feathery leaves, while the carrots began to mature into paler green wisping fronds.
In the matter of a couple days I could suddenly tell one from the other. Amazing! At last! And I knelt at the edge of the garden box and acutely began to pluck the invading dill from those neat rows of young carrots.
Pulling weeds is not particularly interesting, but gardens, weeds, and all that sprouts in the spaces of those efforts makes for a well worn analogy for many aspects of living a well-cultivated life — pun intended.
Being able to pluck the weeds from your own life, be that from the emotional or physical or whatever spaces of your day-to-day seems simple enough advice.
But then again, just like the frustrating ambiguity I encountered with my carrots versus dill problem, sometimes deciding which bits are the weeds and which are the germinating seeds that you’ve planted deliberately is not always one hundred percent clear.
The mind, the heart and the soul are fertile soil for ideas and thoughts and emotions, some purposefully cultivated with care and attention, while others drift in with the wind and grow of their own accord.
Either can flourish, but it’s up to us with patience and practice to weed the gardens of beings and ensure what grows inside us is meant to be there and will yield the fruits (or veggies) that we want to harvest at the end of the process.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this process lately, both literally as a gardening practice and metaphorically as an act of self-care — and somehow coincidentally both tend to lead me to be on the ground on my knees in my backyard, hands covered in wet soil.