A few weeks back, we took Little Person to a British Wildlife Centre and one of the signs near the entrance gave me pause. I should’ve taking a photo but Little Person was excited to get inside and see the animals, so you’ll have to excuse me if the actual quote is not word perfect.
A weed is just a plant that’s in the wrong place.
Have you ever felt like that? Like a weed? Unwanted? Resented? More than just ignored but outright scorned? Do you sometimes feel like you are being pulled at and ripped apart and poison poured all over you? As though the people around you just wish you weren’t there? And somehow, despite everything, you keep growing back. A little stunted, a little thwarted, a little more stubborn and sore. Wishing somehow that this time, when you push your head above the soil, you will find yourself looking less like you do, and more like you’re supposed to?
Or have you ever seen someone like that? A weed – the wrong thing in the wrong place. Too rough, too spiky, too tall, too untidy, too wild, too thorny, too whatever.
Maybe, instead of trying to kill the weed, we should find a place where it can belong. (Now don’t misinterpret me now – I know there are dangerous weeds out there, and I know all about invasive species and the damage they do our indigenous ecosystems. I’m not talking about that. I’m making a metaphor, based on the weeds which are indigenous and we find sprouting up in our well-manicured gardens. Because nature is many things, but neat is not one of them.) Wait, where was I?
Maybe, instead of trying to kill the weed, we should find a place where it can belong.
Instead of ripping the stem from the root, we should carefully dig it out, and with care and respect, put in a place where it can belong. In the right place. Where it has dignity, acceptance, and can make a contribution. Where it will be appreciated, not resented.
Instead of pouring weedkiller on it, we can transplant it, and then water it.
Instead of trying to grow where we don’t belong, we can find out where we do belong.
A weed is just a plant that’s in the wrong place. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.