I scowl at the Sorry-Excuse-For-a-Gardener in front of me, horrified at his lame We-All--the-Snow-White-AND-the-Witch--Live-Happily-Ever-After approach to landscape management. I see I am stuck with a loser.
How can you allow…even tolerate the weeds in MY garden? I spit-and-sputter the question again, demanding the answer.
Thanks for asking. I wondered if you ever would…He is utterly unperturbed by the antagonism oozing from every sweaty pore of my body. Well, let me explain to you…if you care to HEAR it…
He says the word the way you would hit a nail on the head and then continues softly.
If you pulled the weeds right now, you would uproot the good grass along with it. You must leave it alone. This poor weed is not the problem. The problem is that you have reduced the glorious mystery and the exquisite art of gardening into an obsessive-compulsive weed elimination rampage. He pauses as if expecting me to butt in again but this time I refrain.
There is more – much more - to gardening than having a weed-free lawn. Gardening is about entering this amazing world you didn’t create with your mouth shut and your shoes off your feet. It’s about listening and letting go and yielding of control rather than bulldozing in oblivious to the rhythms and seasons, climate and soil, and all the magical creatures finding their shelter in your own back yard…Most of all, it’s about love and friendship…
His voice trails off as if he fears he said too much... at least too much for my crusty ears.
I've never heard anybody fight with such intensity, passion and grace for the life of a... weed!
Part of me wants to take notes of every word coming out of his mouth. The other part wants to sit down and absorb it all in by osmosis. I want to hear more about this outer space gardening even though I understand only about every tenth word he utters.
There isn’t a tiniest doubt in my mind that on the planet where he came from, they do gardening a little different than over here. A lot different.
And I am not quite sure anymore whether I have a stomach for it or not.