I'm on a bit of a Joy Cowley binge at the mo.
As part of it, I've just picked up her 3 books of reflections - now, those who know me, know I'm not religious. Well, not organised pigeon-holed religious. I come from a family of questioners, from whom I have inherited a great faith, but one that isn't bound in any Faith. I hope you understand the distinction. It does mean that I pick up, magpie-like, bits and pieces of many different belief systems and appreciate them.
While skimming through Psalms for the road I found many poems which resonated with me. One of which I'd like to share today.
It made me think of conversations I had at the last working bee up north. Ok, I'm not a gardener - so have to ask others if something is a weed or not. Somewhere I heard a definition of a weed as a plant that's growing where you don't want it to - so, it could mean lettuces among your roses. Now, Dad had me well trained (and the others probably, too!) - so we appreciated 'weeds' - dandelions, buttercups, daisies - and I was always sad when Dad mowed the back yard. It was much cooler as a jungle. And provided a softer landing if you were kamikaze-ing off the swing. It was also a complete pain to mow. Little Monkey is currently growing up in a backyard similar to this - so I've been trying to convince her mother that a little bit of jungle is a good thing for a growing child.
May we all see treasure in 'weeds' - and may all our weeds become treasure. We just need to change our definitions and our viewpoints. And, may we not label others' treasures as weeds.
After this long preamble, I offer Joy Cowley's words - far more eloquent than mine.
One fine morning, the child stood on a lawn
covered with daisies and dandelions,
and hardly dared breathe for beauty.
The grass was thick around her ankles and in it,
as far as she could see, were jewels laid out
on spring-green velvet.
Each daisy was a perfect yellow cushion
edged with white petals, some blush tinted.
Every dandelion was made from sunshine,
and some had on their faces, wet diamonds
that shivered and glittered when they rolled
onto the child's fingeres.
She took a bunch of this perfect treasure
into her father and he admired every flower,
his eyes growing soft with memory.
Together, they put them in a glass
on the kitchen window sill which instantly
became a shrine to beauty.
Later that day, someone said, "Nice lawn.
It's a pity there are so many weeds in it.
I have a spray that'll get rid of them."
At that moment, the child learned
that when a treasure is judged a weed
it has no value at all.