We know what to do when life hands us lemons, but what about weeds, the invasive creatures that sprout up all over yards, roads, gardens, and driveways wherever there's soil, space, and plenty of sunshine? What do we do other than pull them out, along with our hair?
We can learn from them.
And make crowns.
Considered a pain in the ass and an eyesore to some, I've come to see weeds with a bit of reverence. Weeds are not just weeds, they are resilient little motherfuckers that thrive wherever they find themselves. Weeds need very little to reach their potential, but give them plentiful sunshine, and they shoot up and outward, living their best lives.
Their vitality is admirable, so instead of framing them as a nuisance, I'm taking notes on how to be.
Weeds grew all over the property of the first house we rented in Australia. During challenging moments, these weeds reminded me that wherever I am — no matter the conditions — I can find or make my own sunshine to thrive under. If a beautiful flower can bloom from a weed in the tiniest crack between bricks, or on a concrete surface, I can find my own way too.
Defining what a weed is and reframing the implications for how to be can feel empowering. So, here's a list of weed characteristics from a plant-lovers blog paired with my translations:
- Plants that grow in undesirable locations
Translation: We can be strong and active wherever we are, even if it's not where we want to be
- Plants that grow very quickly
Translation: The journey to thriving is quick when we don't resist where we are and what we have to work with
- Plants that have extensive root systems
Translation: Being anchored in life comes from finding nourishment through our homes, relationships, communities, and within ourselves
- Plants that produce lots of seeds
Translation: We're here to abundantly share whatever it is that we do (create through our gifts and passions) naturally and with ease
- Plants able to live in extreme and poor environmental conditions
Translation: We are always stronger and more capable of overcoming challenges than we think
All this wisdom from a humble weed ... it's no wonder why people get so into gardening! With so much to observe and internalize — every root, stem, leaf, and petal — each interaction, day, and season that passes can be a teachable moment when we're out in the field. Be it in a field of weeds or in the everyday field of life, we can always find the sunshine.