When the girls don’t take their naps, I like to take them for a car ride in the countryside. Some days they’ll sleep in the car. Others they’ll bob their little heads along to the music and watch the scenery with me. Either way, it’s a relaxing time for all. Especially for me since I’ve always loved car rides. There’s something magical about country roads, getting lost on the gravel, no time limit, nowhere to be, just the road ahead, music playing on the radio, losing myself to thoughts and letting my cares and worries fly out the open windows.
Last week we headed out for a drive, and my eyes caught the blooming of the purple fields. “Poowple fwowes” my toddler calls them. There’s something so peaceful about them.
You could feel the hope and serenity in those blooms, peeking out of the ground, saying, “Hello. Can you see us? It’s springtime. We’ve just popped up to say hello. We won’t be here long. Only long enough to do our thing. Hopefully you’ll pause long enough to see we were here, to notice we came.”
I thought how often our lives seem like the blip of a flower. Here one day, gone the next. As we continued our drive, we came upon an historic churchyard as if to remind me, yep. There it is. One day, we’re a blooming flower, the next entombed in a churchyard. And yet, the odd thing is, there’s still so much beauty in that churchyard. Lives lived. Lives loved, remembered in stone, in memory, in hearts.
My mind wandered back to those purple flowers. They’re actually a weed, called the Henbit plant. An edible plant that’s classified as a weed, yet it actually does a lot (besides being springtime’s welcoming committee), such as erosion control for farmland, provides food for humming birds and honeybees, and even herbal remedies for humans (source).
All this from a plant classified as a weed! Yet, this plant doesn’t know it’s a weed, does it? We’re the ones who gave negative meaning to the word ‘weed.’ The product ‘weed-killer’ comes to mind. And yet, this plant doesn’t know it’s a weed, so, it blooms, spreads, and grows.
It crops up in the spring and does its glorious thing, because that’s what it’s designed to do. To grow, to bloom, to be the color in someone’s dreary day, food for the birds and bees, heal the sick. A splash of color in an otherwise barren field signaling the beginning of a new season.
I thought of the different ways we are classified as we grow. Before we have the chance to bloom, there are so many terms thrown onto us. During the fertilization of our spirits, words are poured into our minds and hearts.
Some of us hear growth words like, smart, potential, beautiful, strong, brave, athletic, ambitious. And yet other words creep in like stupid, dork, weird, slow, different, fat, bossy, too short, too tall.
Usually it’s the words we believe to be unpleasant that keep us from blooming – the weeds. Imagine what we could do if we didn’t know we’d been called those those things or if those words held no meaning, and we just did what we were born to do. Like the youngest of children before their spirits have been hurt by this world.
My child runs up to me in our backyard and proudly presents a henbit bloom she plucked just for me. And I think how beautiful a mission for us all.
. . .
What if we all followed our hearts and proudly presented our ‘weeds’ to those around us? If we were the color in someone’s cloudy day, provided food for someone who was hungry, healed the sick.
If this little weed can do all that, imagine how much more we can do when we don’t let our perceived shortcomings get in our way. Could we embrace being a weed as a good thing? After all, you can learn a lot from a weed.
I’d love to hear from you. What ‘weeds’ hold you back? Please tell me in the comments.
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