Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them… ~A.A.Milne from Winnie the Pooh (Eeyore)
What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left, O Let them be left, wildness and wet: Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid
A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic
I’ve always identified with weeds more than cultivated blooms. I tend to be fluffy, spread out where I’m not necessarily wanted or needed, and seem to be resilient through drought or flood. Their persistence helps me let them be. EPG
When a man thinks happily, he finds no foot-track in the field he traverses. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson from “Quotation and Originality”
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back…
~Robert Frost from “The Road Not Taken”
Two lonely cross-roads that themselves cross each other I have walked several times this winter without meeting or overtaking so much as a single person on foot or on runners. The practically unbroken condition of both for several days after a snow or a blow proves that neither is much travelled. Judge then how surprised I was the other evening as I came down one to see a man, who to my own unfamiliar eyes and in the dusk looked for all the world like myself, coming down the other, his approach to the point where our paths must intersect being so timed that unless one of us pulled up we must inevitably collide. I felt as if I was going to meet my own image in a slanting mirror. Or say I felt as we slowly converged on the same point with the same noiseless yet laborious stride as if we were two images about to float together with the uncrossing of someone’s eyes. I verily expected to take up or absorb this other self and feel the stronger by the addition for the three-mile journey home. But I didn’t go forward to the touch. I stood still in wonderment and let him pass by; and that, too, with the fatal omission of not trying to find out by a comparison of lives and immediate and remote interests what could have brought us by crossing paths to the same point in a wilderness at the same moment of nightfall. Some purpose I doubt not, if we could but have made out. I like a coincidence almost as well as an incongruity. ~Robert Frost from “Selected Letters”
Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just like a certain recent U.S. President, my father chose to relax by brush cutting. Later on in life he enjoyed the still peace and quiet of fishing, but when I was young, his favorite thing to do when he had extra time was to grab his brush hook from the garage, sling it over his shoulder, and head out into our woods. There he would spend hours whacking away at the undergrowth of a lush Pacific Northwest forest, creating open areas for our cows to graze and making trails through seemingly impenetrable trees, foliage and blackberry patches.
Making trails seemed to give him a sense of control and accomplishment that he rarely felt in his government desk job. It created huge “brush piles” which became controlled bonfires on “burn” days in late October, reducing to ashes what once had been an impassable mess.
Somehow I found and married a man who also enjoys clearing brush, using that same sixty year old brush hook handle that now bears the sweat marks of two beloved men in my life.
The path for me is clearer after their work is done. I can now find my way.
“There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
A moment’s window of perfection is so fleeting
in a life of bruises, blemishes and worm holes.
Wait too long and nectar-smooth flesh
softens to mush and rot.
The unknown rests beneath a blushed veneer:
perhaps immature gritty fruit unripened,
or past-prime browning pulp readily
tossed aside for compost.
Our own sweet salvage from warming humus
depends not on flawless flesh down deep inside
but heaven’s grace dropped into our laps;
a perfect pear falls when ripe, tasting like a selfless gift.
“A man watches his pear-tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap!” ~ Abraham Lincoln