When I purchased my first house over 15 years ago, I was pretty darn excited. About everything, even weeding.
I do know that, in the bigger picture of things, weeds are simply plants that we don’t know the use for. . . yet.
But sometimes they grow where we don’t want them. And what’s to be done, but … weeding!
Being in Southern California, I studied drought resistant plants and took pride in doing all my own landscaping.
I remember a friend being over one day and as we sat on the patio I saw a few weeds in the flower bed and reached down to pull them out. She made some comment about weeding and I said, “Yes, I’ll be weeding the rest of my life.”
We laughed at the time, but it was an off hand comment that was truly prophetic.
So what does it mean to be weeding for the rest of our lives? I’m not going to go into the esoteric teachings of removing negative thoughts and habits from our lives, though that is a good analogy.
I’m really going to talk about weeding an outdoor garden and how to make the best of it.
Weeding the natural way
Fifteen years ago I didn’t give too much thought to herbicides and pesticides and admit that I would occasionally use them. I was naïve enough to believe that RoundUp was harmless except to the plant it was sprayed on.
Now I know too much.
We all know too much unless we continue to hide our heads in the sand. The biotech companies have been lying and the truth is coming out and none of us should be using pesticides or herbicides any more unless they’re proven natural and organic. And, by the way, the natural and organic things work.
Ants in the mailbox! Oh, my!
Two weeks ago ants took over my mail box. I think they were originally attracted to a spider cocoon that was in the very back.
There were hundreds of them and I was determined not to use toxic spray.
So first, I prayed with tobacco and asked them to leave. “Please leave so I don’t have to hurt you.”
Then I went off to my computer to research natural ant preventatives and learned about garlic! I peeled a few cloves of garlic, pierced them to make sure the smell would escape, and put them in my mailbox.
I also was blessedly going out of town for five days so I stopped mail delivery to give it time to work.
It did. Five days later there were only a few stragglers left and I just wiped them out with a rag. And I felt very good about not having used toxins.
The earth always renews itself
Today I have a large property in Michigan and feel as though I’m in a constant dance [I won’t use the word war] with the natural world which wants to take over my gardens.
My teacher Sun Bear loved to say that the earth always renews itself, and would show us a photo of a weed growing through a crack in the sidewalk as proof.
I weed by hand [or prune with pruning sheers] and talk to the plants while I do it. If it’s a weed I’m pulling out, I explain to it that it just grew in the wrong place. “You have your space and this is mine so I’m sending you off to be composted and reborn.”
I also say, “I love you and I’m sorry I have to pull you out.”
If I’m pruning I explain it’s just a little haircut and it will grow back. I even have a song I sing about it:
“Just a little haircut,
just a little haircut,
just a little haircut,
that’s all it is.”
It may sound silly to some, but it makes me feel good and I bet anything that it makes the plants feel good, too.
After all, we know they have a consciousness and living in balance with nature means honoring and respecting all of it.
Grandfather Wallace Black Elk always taught that every blade of grass has a name and a song. How amazing is that?
In fact, the refreshing smell of mown grass is actually the smell of pheromones sent out by the grass to attract pollinating insects. It’s a cry for help because it is threatened when we cut it.
That puts things in a whole new light, doesn’t it?
I find weeding to be a good meditation. It’s peaceful and mundane and perfect to hold our attention
And when we slow our mind, it makes room for new inspiration to come in. I get some of my best ideas during meditation, and during weeding and gardening.
In fact, I wrote this blog post in my head while weeding and mowing the lawn.
Simple tasks are often a great meditation. Which reminds me of the old adage,
“Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
And weed . . . with a prayer and a song.
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