And we call them weeds

Why are certain flowers, trees, and plants called weeds and others aren’t? I admire my mint and sedum spreading voraciously and without abandon in my newly-planted, otherwise cleanly-weeded flower bed…. and yet, I pull those little sunflower-looking things because I was told “Oh get rid of that! It’s a weed!”

My friend told me I needed to dig out these Elm trees that voluntarily seeded near my house. “Oh, goodness, get rid of those weeds!”

But I like the little sunflowers. And the weed trees are nearly taller than my house at this point and I don’t mind the shade. And I especially don’t mind avoiding the arduous labor that goes along with digging up a weed tree.

As I walk along the path around our neighborhood, I notice purple, and white, and yellow little buds everywhere. Some look like blueberries, some look like sunflowers, some look like foxgloves, beautiful, untamed. My 4-year-old Riley asks me to take a picture of the pretty yellow ones. He doesn’t think they’re weeds.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is famously credited with describing a weed as “a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

What a metaphor for nearly everything in life! People are weeds, animals are weeds, books are weeds and yes, Netflix Originals are weeds.

If we don’t take the time to meet, and discover, and research, and experience, everything will always be weeds. If I look at the world like Riley looks at weeds, maybe I’ll be a little more open-minded.

Except when it comes to crabgrass. Crabgrass was, is and always will be a weed.

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