Our back yard is a mess. Once it was really quite something. There was a fountain and landscaping and brick flower beds, walkways and iron fencing. Over the years, through different owners with different priorities, it’s become a brick outline of what it once was. It’s been overrun with weeds and trees have seeded that should have been cut down. It’s become an excellent playground for Monkey Boy & his dogs to battle imaginary monsters. But to be the real beauty it can be, it needs new love.
Baby Daddy has already started the weed killing process. At my urging, he bought “green” weed killer. He said he didn’t know which claim to disbelieve: “kills weeds dead” or “safe for pets and children.” It smells like cinnamon; I have no idea why. Soon enough, we’ll know which claim was bogus.
We’ve been looking at stone for a new patio and new fencing to contain our untrainable beasts. I bought old chairs to be re-finished in green, red, aqua and yellow. Of course, with white arms. I’ve got big ideas for this old yard. I’m planning parties and cookouts and good times.
When I was looking over the mess it is now, I couldn’t help but notice how pretty, in their own way, all the weeds are. They have confidence, these weeds. They have vibrant colors and they shine. They strut their weedy stuff to the rest of the grass. They take up all the space they need; they don’t shrink from the other plants. No matter how much cinnamon-smelling spray we put out, some of them will have the nerve to come back next year. They thrive in a world where no one wants them, except children. And the children will never stop making wishes on them or bouquets out of them. For that, they are to be admired.
The thought reminded me of a scene in the movie, Love Song for Bobby Long, where the character Pursy learns the origin of her name.
Cecil: I helped name you. Your mama thought you were golden so we named you after yellow flowers and corn. This is you here…
[cuts some purslane from garden]
Cecil: …pretty, golden purslane.
Pursy Will: Purslane’s really a weed, you know. A neighbor told me when I was 9 and I ran over his tomato plants. He said all gardeners hate purslane.
Cecil: Yeah, and dandelions. Doesn’t stop kids from making wishes on ’em.
Despite her humble beginnings, I hope for Pursy. I hope she will be more than a weed. I hope her confidence and her nerve will take her further than her circumstances would dictate. I make wishes and bouquets out of the desire for her to be… more.
Maybe what I really hope for is me. I hope I can be what I’ve promised to my family, friends, co-workers and community. I hope that my brash and loud exterior will be beautiful in it’s way. I hope for what we all do: to be more than a weed. But I also hope no one ever stops making wishes on me.