Many years ago when Mr Dreamboat and I were just starting off on the wild ride that would be our life together, we bought our very first home. It was a tiny and lovely nestled on a sleepy street in Northeast Portland, Oregon.
There we brought home our very first Baby Boy Young. Perhaps because it is so many years in my past, the only memories I have of our first little cottage are illuminated with soothing yellow lights and somehow every memory seems tucked into a perfect summer evening. Sigh…
Though we lived in our home for only a year, it was there we became a family and there we learned many other lessons as well.
One of those lessons was about weeds.
The previous owner was a young man who had bought the house and fixed it up. A nice job
he did of it too. The floors were stripped of old carpet and redone in a beautiful, old patina that felt cozy and grounded. The remaining carpets were new and fresh. The house was tiny but charming in every way. Well, if I’m being honest, the kitchen was achingly small and outdated, but beyond that it was entirely perfect.
Including the yard.
Both the front and back yards were nothing fancy but well kept and tidy. He was a meticulous guy and wanted to walk us through the whole property, small though it was, before we took complete ownership.
He talked about the floors, the fireplace and the basement. When we came to the plot he walked us about the little patch of grass and pointed out the decorative beds.
“These plants I brought back from some hikes I took in the gorge. They’ve done really well. These over here are volunteers. I don’t know what they are, but they’re pretty.”
For certain it was the first time I’d ever heard a plant referred to as a “volunteer”. And without a doubt it had never occurred to me that one might choose what one thought was beautiful and worthy of a garden based on nothing but preference.
Where were the experts? What did the books have to say about it? How can we possibly value something unless we’ve been told it’s valuable?
And so the light turned on.
Weeds are only weeds when we think of them as such. Beauty is to be found in every living thing, in every living circumstance. Sometimes, if we find we like something that until now we’ve thought of as a weed, it’s not a weed at all, it’s a volunteer.
Too often I am quick to label things.
This is “good”, and that is “bad” and these things have “value” while those don’t. It is in the labeling that I am committing the injustice. When I throw something out without critical thinking I may very well be getting rid of my very favorite flower in the garden of my life.
The volunteers that have popped up in my life have sometimes been quite ugly on the surface. Challenges I couldn’t have planned for and outcomes never imagined have thrown me for a loop and sent me running for the weed killer. Until I remember…
You are the expert of your own life. You decide what should thrive and what should die. Yet sometimes if you give things a chance to grow, occasionally that which was never valued before turns out to have the most magical powers.
Got some weeds in your garden? Let’s sort them out together.
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