I’ve just returned from a week-long family road trip to Alberta.
The land of wild roses, giant dandelion-like globes that I am mystified by, and glacial waters that call my heart to calm and new breath.
The body – in need of a readjusting to the rhythms of the farm.
To lifting, and bending, and yanking.
The soul – inspired once more by weeds.
They kinda are my thing.
Kingdom of My Heart
Wheelbarrow filled with buckets hungry for expatriated weeds, hands ready to hit the soil,
I plop to the ground beside the bed of rainbow carrots,
Knees up against the damp alleyway strewn with grass-suppressing burlap.
Ready to weed, I am!
I shuffle through the floppy forest of carrot tops,
Pulling out purslane, chickweed, horsetail, grass
A gleam of jade white catches my eye – I try to ignore its beauty as I remind myself to keep up a steady pace
But jade white calls, and
I stroke back foliage to find two carrots peeking out of the soil – promises
Of the harvest yet to come, so soon
Of coloured crunchy carrots
Bunched and bright like a box of pencil crayons
I weed on.
The kings and queens of the Delicate Hand Weed reign still
We set out on
horsehunched backs to save our allies – the Cilantro’s
From the furtive weed invasion that tries to steal their land, millimetre by millimetre
The Cilantro’s have been striving for growth,
Pushing up new leaves and longer, stronger stems,
Standing their ground for over a month now.
As we battle, ever so delicately,
King Gerson voices the thought that weeds can be good for our allies, the crops:
“I have a theory…”
To that, King Scott shares ancient tales of pernicious weeds
Whose roots sink down deep, deep, deep
Deep down to layers of soil unreachable by the Cilantro’s, nor by most of our other allies
Whose roots run shallow only just beneath the soil surface
I remember the battles of ages past…
Fought against the Dandelions, the Horsetails, the Quackgrass…
Fierce were the faces of our warriors as we yanked out thigh-long roots,
Banishing them from the Farm Kingdom.
These long roots, however, hold a sacred purpose,
A goodness we don’t often see.
They draw up hidden and forgotten things from the depths:
Nutrients to nourish the crops they surround,
Secrets that hearts hold dear but long so much to share.
They draw these deep things out of the earth
From the tips of roots and nodules, to the tips of leaves and petals, these deep things flow, flow, flow
Flow unto death as weeds are lain to dry and decay back into soil.
Flow unto life regiven as weeds are rototilled back into the groundwork
In which new seeds fall.
In deep-rooting weeds – an uplifting, a searching out, a goodness
The fear of war and the triumph of battle
The immediate season
Into the one to come.
Hope in tension – between competition and complementary.
Like coloured crunchy carrots. Jade white expectancy.
Oh, dear wise weeds
In the Kingdom of my heart.