I just spent the last 4 hours pulling weeds in my flower garden and it felt great! Upon reflecting on my experience the old nursery rhyme, Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?, comes to mind. Why are there so many analogies and metaphors around gardening?
I had a profound experience once, while walking in a garden. I was on day three of a silent retreat when I started to notice that every plant and tree in the garden had one thing in common. Veins or spires that were thicker on one end where they started and narrower at the end of their extremity or leaf. I saw that I also have the same shape in the form of my veins. And that all life has this in common. This spire inside us, this place where life force enters us and pushes through our extremities. This I thought is where the word “inspired” comes from. It’s what makes us alive. It’s what animates us. It’s the spirit within us. Those old church steeples, they are not falic symbols left over from pagan religions that hosted sex orgies as my fundamentalist Christian parents had taught me. They were spires. The ancients recognized them as the entry point of God in each of us. And in all life. Even the plants.
In the first chapter of his book, A New Earth, Eckart Tolle talks about flowers being the enlightenment of plants. This was such a beautiful insight for me. I think of the enlightened people that I have met. Those people who I imagine are like Christ or Buddha were, they have a presence about them and when you look into their eyes, wide open, you can see heaven through those windows into their soul. Flowers are special like that and the scent they share is a gift for all who take the time to notice.
Now what of weeds? They too are inspired. But there is something different about weeds. As I pulled them from my garden, I was contemplating this question. What makes a weed a weed? And why will it never become a beautiful and enlightened flower? I suppose the dandelions would argue that last statement with me but even the dandelions are different, weed like somehow. What is the quality of weeds? As I pulled them, I noticed some weeds were crab grass, they seemed gossipy to me, running on with their runners that would sprout a new tuft of grass down the line. I’d have to pull up the runners until I got to the source and then yank until I could get the roots out of the ground. Then there were the thorny types. They were harder to pull out, not because they were particularly deep but because they would hurt when their thorns stuck into me. There were some that were tall and confident like they were going to grow a flower some day but never did, those were actually the easiest to pull out. Their root went strait down and pulled up easily, they didn’t sprawl, they just stood up strait hoping I wouldn’t notice they were weeds. Fakers. There were some that were actually quit pretty and I almost felt bad pulling them out. But I did pull them out because I realized they would never become enlightened and were taking up space where my new flowering plants were going to grow. Then there were those very small weeds that had re-sprouted from my last weeding frenzy. Their roots had lied dormant under-ground until they were watered and then they re-grew. What all weeds have in common, I decided is a rugged individualism. Even the dandelions, seem like loaners in a way. They are only out for themselves. Trying desperately to claim their space, trying to fit in by pretending to be upright flowers, or by taking over and choking out the real flowers. Holding on for dear life. They’re not collaborators like a group of petunias or a group of pansies seem to be. As I pulled up each weed, what arose for me each time was a situation at my last job. A comment made by someone that was based on an un-truth. Or a look of doubt from someone who obviously had been told something negative about me. I started to really enjoy pulling out each weed. Each seed of doubt that had been planted in my energetic/spiritual garden by my former boss, a narcissistic man who wanted to blame everyone else for his own short comings. I spent four hours pulling weeds and it was very clearing for me, not only physically in my flower garden but emotionally and energetically too. I felt like I was taking back my space, my essence, my garden – to make room for new collaborative flowers to grow where once there had only been un-enlightened rugged individuals, each trying to take a piece of me.
Mary, Mary quite contrary. How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockleshells. And pretty maids all in a row.
As a modern mystical mamma I hope to raise a garden of collaborative children who will someday blossom into beautiful enlightened beings that can share their gifts with the world and not desperate rugged individuals that are only out for themselves.