Friday, February 19, 2010

What the Weeds Whispered

The other day I was meditating, in my shamanic way, and the oddest thing happened.

My vision was filled with weeds. Little ones. Big ones. Bunches. Weeds standing off by themselves.

And I saw them like you see below - the weeds that have taken up residence in between my back patio paving stones.

(OK, so there are a LOT of weeds in my patio pavers. It's that time of year in California, where the water comes out of the sky, and not out of the little black tubes that are on the timer, so things get crazy and a little out of hand out here.

But, I digress...)

The point is, in a shamanic journey, one sees weeds only if there is a message in them.

Ponder, ponder, as I stare at the waving weeds. WHAT am I supposed to learn? I see these scraggly scavengers, these insistent interlopers, and my first reaction is, "GOD, there's so many of them. How can anybody keep up?"

Tenacious weeds. Fiercely clinging to life, like Rambo holed up in a cave with a torch and an attitude.

And then, I get my own attitude adjustment.

They're not like Rambo. Not at all. They're not fierce or tenacious, really. They just "are".

They're doing their own thing, being their natural selves. They're enjoying the opportunity to express themselves. Practicing their craft, so to speak.

And here's the important part:

They don't ask anybody for permission.
And they don't need anybody's approval.

They do their thing with a simple joy and a community attitude of live and let live.

Sure, some get whacked, some get pulled, some get chopped, chipped, and chafed. But, to borrow from DH Lawrence, I never saw a wild weed sorry for itself. And an awful lot of them do OK. They grow, they flower, they leave a legacy. Without ever asking somebody more important for permission, or groveling for approval. They just go for it with a simple joy.

The lesson was suddenly clear.

The next day, I almost found my self rooting for this little guy. "You go for it, little buddy!"

He courteously replied,

"Why, thankye, Cap'n. I don't mind if I dooo!"


  1. Thanks very much. It was a great lesson.

  2. Nice meditation and photos. I have always believed there is much to admire and learn from weeds. I would rather see weeds grow along the roadsides than see the ground made bare and sterile with herbicides. And some weeds are truely beautiful.

  3. Anon, you're ahead of me. Weeds have always bothered me - the "control junkie" in me is constantly frustrated, and the "perfectionista" in me is always unsatisfied that the weeds are not vanquished.

    I agree - plants along the roadside are gregarious, joyful reminders of "life along the road". Still, a beautiful plant in the "wrong" place nags at me. The challenge for me appears to be, what makes a place right or wrong, and why?