Lemme tell y’all how I feel about the long, choking, vine-y weeds one finds here in Kentucky. They may be all over the place, but I’ve never seen anything like them until I first tried to maintain a yard here.
I despise them.
They pop up out of nowhere. Innocuous and tiny one day, like huge ropey snakes the next, threatening to squeeze the life out of whatever flower or shrub they’ve wrapped themselves around. There are many types of weeds…I know this. But this particular brand–whatever it’s called (and I do not care) makes me crazy.
It’s almost rage, and it bubbled right up when I saw that this one had begun wrapping itself around one of my azalea bushes, when I swear to you that two days ago the damn weed was not even there!
The only word for them is insidious–persistent in their quiet destruction, escalating to a major chore over a few steaming hot days and one hard rain.
I ripped this thing out of the ground so hard. So fast. Maybe said a few colorful words as I did, realizing it isn’t even June yet, so a whole bunch of these things will rear their ugly pervasive heads over the next few months. They have to be dealt with posthaste. Forthwith (just like Danny Reagan says a least once an episode on Blue Bloods). If you don’t…well…they thrive, and the next thing you know Grandma’s daisies are getting a boa constrictor type of treatment.
I know–I know what you’re thinking. It’s just a weed. A simple growing thing that you’ve already plucked right out. Chill, Jules.
But y’all, there’s the thing–they remind me of so many things in this life–So. Many. Things.–that have the same effect on us, both as individuals and as communities.
Things like grief. Shame. Rage. If such things are not dealt with, resolved, talked through so that they no longer control the landscape of your life…in the end, they will strangle any possibility of hope or joy.
Things like hate. Greed. Narcissism. These guys–I mean good lord how they can rip apart lives and communities, wrapping their tentacles of manipulation and isolation around us until we can’t even breathe with any ease at all, so tense and afraid and angry we become.
Things like shattered dreams–the way they keep flashing in front of us in bouts of sorrow or occasional nightmares or moments of “what might have been,” so much that we are unable to move forward, out of what we feel has wrecked our lives and into what might be waiting for us on the other side of the wreckage.
We were made for so much more. Hardwired, as Brene Brown says, for connection; created to live in love. And weeds–my metaphorical ones, anyway–they cut us off from the very things we need to live, and corner us into lesser versions of ourselves.
I had a very conscious thought tonite as I tore at the very root of that weed, pulling with vigor, determined to get it, that I could just as easily be pulling at any number of situations or experiences that have been cause for sadness or anger or frustration or fear.
We all have them.
But here’s what I know: it’s possible to pull the suckers out; or, at least, talk them out, work them out, figure them out, so that they are no longer so threatening, no longer able to dominate our hearts, no longer able to keep us from being all that we were meant to be.
And yes, they’ll pop back up from time to time. But you’ll learn to see them coming. Learn to grab ’em while they are just tiny little thoughts and not great huge monsters. You’ll clear them out, quicker this time.
And when you do, you will find that what is left is space for grace to do its mighty, merciful work of pulling back together the pieces of your heart, so that goodness has room to riot again.