Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 99: Looking Beyond Labels

Ah, "Day 99" aka Easter Sunday and Passover (Day 2) and I am celebrating neither. Instead, I am celebrating spring so maybe I am a pagan after all. At least I celebrate something, that's progress for those who have been worrying about my soul for the past 50 years.

To celebrate this pagan occasion, I spent some time in the garden weeding. It is a never-ending task, and you can't ever tell that you have done it. But, the fact that the weeds along the back wall are literally thigh high make it a necessity. And, the threat of them being sprayed with Monsanto's evil Roundup by somebody else who lives here has spurred me into action. But yet again, I digress.

Whilst (oh yeah, apparently I am also now British) While I was weeding, I was thinking about lots of things (like that's a big surprise). Some of them big, some small, but always thinking.

One thing I thought about is what I have learned or discovered while gardening. I actually have learned a lot of valuable lessons via my garden, much like I do via my walks. In fact, I wrote 5 Simple Life Lessons From The Garden a couple of weeks ago for Care2 about how much I learn.

Today's big life lesson was how we (okay, I) tend to box things in by categorizing them, mainly I was thinking of how I do this with people. This came to me while weeding near the nasturtiums. Those of you who garden know that "Nasties" are either loved or hated because many gardeners think of them as nothing more than weeds, hence the "nasty" nickname. They reseed themselves year after year, popping up in places you would never expect to find them, just like other weeds do.

But, I love Nasties. I love the colors, I love the flavor in salads (once you get used to them) and I love that they are a much better looking weed than most of the others I have. I also love that once I start seeing them flower, I know that spring will soon be here.
Nasturtium aka Nasties

I was thinking about how they are so easily dismissed by people and are taken for granted or under-rated because they literally do not require any care. I also started thinking about what a weed is. A weed is something that is in your garden where it isn't supposed to be, where you don't want it, that grows without you wanting it to grow. It is something that you dismiss and that you don't think should be part of your garden, or at least in the part of the garden that it is in. But, if it was growing somewhere else, or you had intentionally planted it there, it would be cared for and nurtured.

I thought about how we all put labels on people, we may not admit we do it at age 50, and maybe we don't do it anymore, but we sure did it at 15, "The Jock," "The Nerd/Geek/Brainiac," "The Stoner," etc.. We use those labels to dismiss those who don't fit into the same category as we do, or, we don't think of as useful to us. In short, those who are the weeds in our garden.

I couldn't help but think about all of the people that I missed out on knowing because I dismissed them as nothing more than weeds in my garden. Like most people do with "nasties," I didn't look past my preconceived notions long enough to see the beauty that lies within them and all that they could offer me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment