One morning years ago, wearily trudging down the basement stairs carrying yet another overflowing basket of dirty clothes, I distinctly heard a woman screaming, “Endless, endless, endless!” Was it my mother’s voice? Or my own? Wading through the mound of waiting laundry in front of the washing machine, I suddenly realized it didn’t matter which one of us had lost it. One of us understood something basic, fundamental, unequivocal: laundry happens. Deal.
“Galloping charlie,” a seemingly benign, scalloped green leaf just there, coyly nestled in my backyard grass, happens, too. (It’s really “creeping charlie” but such a formidable foe deserves a more imposing name, right?)
My endless, ill-fated battle with GC began in late April, early May, when my husband, recovering from open-heart surgery and still unable to garden (He’s fine, now), pointed out that what I’d thought a lovely, purple flower was actually a weed—and taking over our backyard. Oh.
Purple? One of my faves? Well-played, GC. First round: Yours.
So I began to pull up those lovely flowers. A newbie gardener, I actually believed that if I devoted enough time and energy, our backyard would eventually look like a tiny golf course. [Okay, seasoned gardeners. I hear you snicker. And those of you questioning this absurd goal?You’re right! I’ve clearly lost my mind.]
In my defense: Two things happened as I began. (Well, if you count all the rain we’ve had, making weeding that much more pleasurable, three.) One, I discovered the indescribable joy of battling an inventive, just-wants-to-propagate weed. Because, yes, it creeps. It creates an amazing network to spread, thrive, survive. After a while, my eager fingers learned what was grass and what wasn’t, what to sift through, and what to carefully follow, strand by strand, and then to gently, oh so gently tug up, twist to possibly engage even more strands, as I pulled. If I’m thorough enough, patient enough, gentle enough, a great, honkin,’ multi-tentacled weed emerges.
And if I’m not? Another GC win.
But that’s the take-away, right? GC’s inevitability. That Serenity Prayer’s acceptance thing. Which, as I sift, tug, twist, and lift, I contemplate again and again. And as another quiet weeding afternoon progresses, the relentless sun glaring on the other side of my house, immersed in this literally-in-the-weeds-spiritual practice, I am able to consider climate devastation’s inevitability. [There. I’ve admitted that. Let’s move on.]
The Second Thing: So far, our neighbors have been mercifully quiet. (One exception: Memorial Day weekend, one family sang along to Brazilian music. Delightful!) Circling swallows, butterflies, relentless bees, a gentle breeze tinkling our wind chime, the delicious shade of our japanese maple my companions, I am.