Philosphical Reasons for Refusing to Pick Weeds

(alternatively titled: “Waanh, I really despise weeding in the heat of the day and I know I’m young but I swear my kneecaps are refusing to bend and unbend properly…”)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay, so my disgruntlement is fresh. I still have some sticky chlorophyll under my fingernails as I type. I just came in and tried to wash it all from my hands. My mind is off of things, because when I turned on the bathroom bulbs I was lost for several seconds as to why they were refusing to light. Then I remembered that my sunglasses are still on. Bleck. After removing said sun spectacles, I discover that I have several burgeoning bites on around the raised and beating veins at my wrists. Apparently AZ red ants have as much taste and appreciation for my forearms as the mosquitoes in MN had for my legs.

a beautiful weed and a beautiful photo from

a beautiful weed and a beautiful photo from

At any rate, I had plenty of time between humming songs to come up with my rationale for liking weeds. Here’s a confession that makes others think I’m just being lazy: I like the look of weeds. I prefer most of them over bare rock, in any case, which is what my front yard looks like. Many weeds just give me a happy sense of forest undergrowth, and that’s what most of them are in the first place.

And a weed is just a plant that does well in a broad spectrum of environments, right? Some “weeds” are grown purposefully in gardens. It all just varies based on culture.

If we really want to get into the dirty nitty gritty, let’s go to definitions. Words are never neutral; even before propaganda was a dirty word, a transformation which the Nazi Propaganda Dept. performed almost singlehandedly, that word still had a negative bias. And the Oxford English Dictionary shows that “Weed (n):” harbors some downright biased words–“noxious,” “unprofitable,” “rank,” and ” regarded as cumbering the ground or hindering the growth of superior vegetation” are just some of the choice suspects.

Obviously weed has become a dirty word, even when so many people enjoy “medicinal” varieties. But I have a simple love for the plants, so I will refer to them by that gentlemanly word. Let’s face it, plants have a Kingdom. We don’t want to think of the weeds as part of that royal family. But they are. And not just the fair-faced dandelions, which are dandy lions of the realm. (Okay, I promise that’s the one and only bad pun of the post.)

Maybe we humans shouldn’t be so picky. Let all the plants fight it out in our front yards and produce a wilderness of cross pollinations and bastard plants that will inspire the poets (or a corny children’s book–which, let’s face it–might be in verse). And if we shed our pickiness, we’d have less yard work. Is that a good enough rallying cry?

h6C0CF71ACaveat: Obviously I’d be okay with picking the weeds when they are the height of a golden retriever. And a yard full of cover that high would create a suburban savannah for the house cat to reign over, and we don’t need them assuming the airs of dandy lions any more than they already do.


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