I remember being a little girl and learning about weeds.
I knew that weeds were horribly pesky plants.
I knew they made my mother sneeze and my father run for the poison spray bottle.
I hated weeds with as much familial passion as I could muster.
How dare they agitate my mother’s allergies or anger my father!
Until, one day I was informed by a friend that dandelions were weeds.
I remembered spending many hours stretched out in the grass among my family’s enemy without the need for poison or a tissue.
I loved everything about dandelions. Their softness, the fully white puffs-balls that topped their slender green stems.
How could dandelions be one of those dreaded weeds?
Could this be possible?
I was so confused.
How could this be true?
So, I asked my mother a question I never thought to ask before.
What is a weed?
Her response: Oh, it is an undesirable plant.
An undesirable plant? Weeds were… just plants?
I had somehow thought in my child’s mind that weeds must be different somehow – evil somehow. The more I thought about it I realized.
Weeds were plants not much different the chrysanthemums and roses I knew so well but these plants were different – they were undesirable.
I didn’t know exactly what that meant – but I knew one thing; undesirable meant we didn’t want them in our yard.
We were plant prejudice. There was no real reason that dandelions and clover couldn’t get along with the roses and chrysanthemums of the yard, we just didn’t want them to.
I loved those dandelions despite their weedy status. I blew their seeds all around my yard (and the neighbor’s too) to help them in their fight against their unfair treatment.
I privately thank weeds for the part they played in my development.
I no longer believe something is evil or harmful just because someone I know (or even trust) says it is. I question things and made decisions for myself.
As a result – my yard is full of dandelions and clover.
Long live the pesky weeds!