Monday, April 30, 2007


I spent the weekend pulling weeds in the yard. (I also got scolded repeatedly by my husband for doing so, as in his opinion, I should have had my spring cold in bed, resting.) It was just so nice outside and after the huge case of cabin fever I developed over this crazy winter, I just needed to be out there.

We always laugh when I start my whole pulling weeds routine because I am so anal that it is the beginning of an obsession for me. It's kind of like me and puzzles...I'm the same way with those. Chris had a 1,000 piece puzzle when he lived about an hour away from me. It was over the summer and I was on break from my job at school and I was a huge freak about that stupid space shuttle puzzle. I would spend the entire day on it because if I didn't, it was like it had eyes and was staring at me, taunting me. When I decide to start pulling weeds in the yard, it's the same sort of thing.

So, Saturday was the day that I decided it was game on with me and the weeds. I strapped on my oh, so attractive gardening gloves, got my ripped/stained towel for my knees, and finally located my official weed digging tool in the shed. I chose a spot and began my little war with the weeds.

It's funny -- when I was growing up, my absolute LEAST favorite chore of all time was easily pulling weeds. I would rather have dusted the entire house than spent 20 minutes pulling weeds, and that's saying something. (I can't stand dusting. Still.) My mom would probably have paid some good money to have had teenager Tara have even an 1/8th of my adult enthusiasm for pulling weeds.

I think was out there for at least 2 or 3 hours both Saturday and Sunday, as evidenced by my red back. Comments on my sunburn beat out a simple "hello" at preschool dropoff this morning, by the way. Always fun.

As I pulled weeds, I was struck by how incredibly LONG and complicated the roots were on some of those puppies! (I'm talking up to two feet long!) I think they come back stronger each subsequent year because I don't remember them being like this last year. I really should have taken a picture or video of pulling some of them because it was quite fascinating, really. (Please note, I'm not a gardener, weed pulling is the extent of my skills, so I have no idea what type of weed it is that I'm talking about.)

The more I thought about the weeds I was pulling, the more I thought about how the whole process of getting them out of the ground reminded me of life. My life, at least.

The weeds with the longest, craziest roots were usually those that looked the smallest. I'd gently pull the top of the little weed and if I could get to the longer root underneath, I found that it was usually attached to several other little weeds, but they were spread out and there is no way in the world I'd guess that the two were linked to the same roots.

Isn't that how it seems with life? The tiniest problems (to everyone else's eyes) are usually those with the most complications attached to them?

I was also struck by just how gentle I had to be with these little weeds in order to keep the huge root underneath intact. The easy thing would have been to just yank it out, severing the visible part of the weed from the root. The problem there is that then the root would be left in the ground, free to sprout many more weeds to pop back up again once the root was ignored. In order to get the entire weed -- roots and all -- I had to work delicately and make sure that I paid attention to both of the directions that the root was headed in.

As I did that -- I couldn't help but think of how closely this whole process mirrored the way that I have to go about solving problems in my life. The easy thing is usually to treat problems like you are just ripping off a band aid -- just go for it. But when I do that, things usually end up coming back time and time again. It's only when I take the time to really examine things, figure out not only where the problem is going, but where it came from and what else is now attached to it that I'm able to successfully remove issues from my life.

I know, I know -- going deep. But you know, I spent a good 5 hours (at least) thinking about all of this stuff while I was baking in the sun. I might as well blog about it, right?

1 comment:

Laura said...

wow. I might steal that and use it in a job interview :)