Weed

The other day, my youngest rescued a discarded weed from the ground. She walked into the ballet studio holding it.

Seconds later a little boy about four years old said, “Mommy, what is that? What does she have?”

With little patience and a dose of disgust she replied (in full earshot of my daughter), “It’s just a weed.”

We looked at each other, my daughter and I–a knowing look passing between us. I could hear us both thinking along the lines of, “She doesn’t know. She can’t see how beautiful this pretty weed is. How sad.”

And it was beautiful. It had been chosen for the way it stood out among the living, the way its faded glory contrasted the vibrant colors all around it, and for its unique shape, crisp from the sun.

Children often look at life without predefined boundaries. They see beauty and possibility in things others discard; things that go unnoticed by most.

I’m trying to see my world through their eyes more often. Children everywhere fascinate me.

I love their faces.

I love their conversations.

I love their ideas.

I love their haphazard treasures, their rambling thoughts, and their discarded “weeds”.

28 thoughts on “Weed

  1. Perhaps she admired the same thing about weeds as I do, their tenacity. Their beauty is not the petals of privilege, but their perseverance against all our pulling and poisons. Kids think we teach them, but it goes both ways.

  2. Britton, not many notice weeds as treasure. You and your daughter will find lots of beauty in this world because you are blessed with clear & embracing hearts. I read about the wonderful relationship between roses and rotten cabbages from a Zen master (Thich Nhat Hanh) and how the latter is gorgeous. Children do see with a heart of possibilities (unless they’ve been ‘taught’ disdain by the grown-ups in their lives, which would be such a pity … for they could see so much).

    1. Oh to be mindful and gracious like Thich Nhat Hanh and his teachings! I hope disdain disappears from my face forever…

      Thank you for visiting and commenting, Claudine.

  3. Based on Peter’s poetic definition, I might actually be a weed. ;-). Yes, to see things the way a child might is really a gift — and I really do pity the four-year-old being jaded (ha ha) by his mother’s narrow view of the world. Thank goodness your daughter has you.

    1. I hope my daughter’s reverence for her treasure will be imprinted on that little boy’s mind when he is out discovering his own treasures. I can only hope that when he brings one to his mother, she will accept the gift graciously, despite what she might be tempted to say instead.

    1. I love this comment-“Jack and the Beanstalk” is a favorite fairy tale of mine, and you’ve sparked a thought on a new version…

  4. And I love this post! Having been a preschool teacher for ten years, I know there is true beauty in the way children see the world. To me, there’s nothing more beautiful than for a child to bequeath you with a weed, dead or alive. It’s a token of his or her love and appreciation and that’s just priceless. I like the silent exchange between you and your daughter. Isn’t it beautiful when we share a special “language” with our children? 🙂

  5. Every day I marvel and cherish how my kids have opened MY eyes to the world around us. What a blessing! Cool picture, beatifully written, awesome bond between mommy and daughter.

    1. Thank you, Mary. The more moments I can connect with my children, the better person I will be. Everything else, despite an urgent beat, pales in comparison to the fleeting moments with them.

  6. B&E have both told me on occasion that there’s no such thing as weeds…just plants we do or don’t want in our garden. I think that applies to many things!

  7. So right. By definition, any wild plant that grows where it is not desired is what defines the word weed. Thus a hillside blooming in a sea of wildflowers is just a weed patch to be bulldozed by a developer that builds a housing tract. My butterfly garden is filled with beautiful flowers that unfortunately when they spread to my lawn I treat as weeds. Maybe I should consider my lawn as the weed and just create a sea of wildflowers.

    1. I am considering the same. The small front yard is no doubt annoying my neighbors, but I am enjoying the rogue plants there.

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