Monday, February 23, 2009
Weeding the Garden
Stubborn, you let the weed grow, wondering why your garden wasn't flourishing as the seed packets predicted. You knew you watered it appropriately, you weeded it, or thought you did, and you even sang it a whispered lullaby when no one was listening.
But one day, you peeked into the shadows and realized that this lovely plant with the fragrant flower really was a weed after all, because it had taken over the entire garden. The carrots had shriveled up and dried out, dehydrated from the effects of the thieving weed. You had no choice but to ask it to its face: "Are you really a weed?"
No response, of course, because it's a weed and cannot answer. It cannot even comprehend the question, or the root of the matter behind your tearful inquiry. It is, after all, just a weed.
So you pull it. First by the stem, which snaps in two, milky in defiance, still deeply entrenched in the soil you so lovingly prepared. Another tug reveals an enormous cluster of water-robbing tentacles. You close your eyes and brace your feet on the ground as you pull the rest of the angrily-shaking roots out of the lush soil.
You transport the noxious substance to the trash can as quickly as you can, not able to look at the remains in your hands. You lay the heap on top of the eggshells leftover from the day before. Reverently, you close the lid of the bin.
After a few seconds, you walk away, still believing that possibly it wasn't a weed, after all, but a flower only known scarcely by the more modern herbologists, one that would bring joy and wonder to your garden.
You go inside, knowing that trash day wasn't for another four days, and that the roots could be transplanted if you really felt like making the effort.
But in your heart, you know it's just a weed, and will only cause your garden more harm.
And so you lay awake when most good little gardeners would be sleeping, and you mourn the loss of what you once believed with all your heart was such a lovely flower glistening in the sun, like a halo.
Anna C. Morrison is an author of children’s books, including Silly Moments and Green Gooey Goop, with many more to follow. She is also an adjunct professor for multiple colleges and universities, both face-to-face and online. While she instructs various levels of English composition, she also teaches classes on literature, film, feature writing, and technical writing, among others. In addition, she has worked with Adapt Courseware as a writing consultant on three video course projects, including college skills and composition. Anna received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, and her BA in English, Creative Writing, from California State University, San Bernardino. Anna is an active member of SCBWI and is available for book signings. She lives in Southern California with her family and pets. Please visit her web site at www.annacmorrison.com.