One Man's Weed

Published on by Francesca Quarto

Perhaps from the beginning, I should stipulate the "weed" I mention in the title of this ramble, can't be smoked, baked, reduced to an oil, or in any way ingested for what is commonly referred to "medicinal or recreational" usage.

There! You may be disappointed; expecting a diatribe on freedom of choice, the undue influence of state and federal laws, or other, such societal claptrap that supports arguments of every stripe today.

That leaves only the garden variety of noxious interloper. Forcing the gardener onto her knees; crawling around like a ground slug patrolling territory designated as "weed free".

Personally, I am know to spare certain garden intruders. I see beauty in their humble flowers, lending random color and interest to a regimented display of domesticated plants.

Sparing these few beauties from being ripped out, certainly affects the commercially produced plantings. They are forced to share the nutrients of the soil with the riffraff that took root without any forethought or planning.

Is it possible there is a subtle message there; in the garden at our back door?

Can we draw parallels between nature's casually gracing some lowly plant, with vivid color and placing it among the hot-house designer variety?

I need only look at my family album for that answer.

My parents were only first generation Italian Americans, while their parents and some siblings were born in Italy.

They were quite elderly when they passed, but left behind stories of growing up in New York, where segregation was by neighborhood. Each of these conclaves reflected the heritage of the country of origin.

I feel blessed that they were encouraged to thrive in the rich diversity of the time. That encouragement, came from family, community and a country that needed willing hands and talent, to grow economically and as a people.

The delicate flower of the fast-growing violet belies the persistence it displays to survive the gardener's trowel; bargaining its beauty for a chance to live among the more established varieties of flowers.

My inclination is to wait before I pull a flowering weed, allowing it time to prove its own worth in beauty and as a contributor to a fine balance between the expected and the unexpected.

After all, isn't that the magic in life?

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