Monday, March 31, 2014

A weed by any other name....

There is nothing that is not
spiritual for those who have
learned to see.
-Richard Rohr

   Spring is here, at least by the calendar's reckoning, and many of us are thinking about gardens.  Even as I ready myself to depart on my threshold pilgrimage, I can't help considering the garden as it struggles to awaken from its long winter nap. 

 Many, many years ago I made a tiny garden in the backyard of the house I was living in.  I planted it with "weeds" I had gathered along the roadside and in fields.  I thought that so many of the common flowering "weeds", like black eye Susan, milkweed and wild aster, were really lovely and since I had no money for cultivated plants, I planted the weeds much to the chagrin of my landlady who was convinced it would ruin her lawn.  It didn't but it did bring in lots of butterflies!

What is a weed?  A plant
whose virtues have never
been discovered.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

   I think I may try to re-create my old weed garden this year somewhere on my property here in Maine. At least I won't have to worry about amending the soil!  It is a reminder to look at all creation as something worthy of our attention...even those things others seek to pull out of their lives and discard.

   I think the lesson of my weed garden for the contemplative photographer is that beauty and meaning can be found anywhere....even in the weedy patches of our world.  Seek out these places and learn to fall in love with that which has "virtue yet undiscovered".  I'll bet you know a place near to you right now that can be your "weedy patch", don't you!  Take your camera and go there. Find the beauty others have overlooked.


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