On its surface, creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea, a member of the mint family) is a fine plant, with gorgeous little lavender-violet, orchid-like flowers, fuzzy, scalloped-edge leaves and, perhaps best of all, an aromatic, sweet-spice aroma when handled. But it seemed its true nature was to "creep" relentlessly in tough tendrils, rooting anew as it spread and consuming everything in its path.
|PHOTO: Artem Topchiy / Wikimedia Commons|
I liked my grass. Even though it turned brown every fall, at least it kept its carpet-like texture, something I was afraid Charlie would not do. More than just my yardmate's behavior, though, it was that he was, well, uninvited.
I tried pulling it—kind of satisfying, like peeling off dried rubber cement from your fingers, but an endless battle. I raked it—that was like trying to comb one's hair with a hair net on. Finally, I went the most drastic route and sprayed it with borax, which, the instructions warned, I’d better do right or the monster would become resistant.
I didn’t…and it did.
I was still scheming when I learned that, in England, this wolf in sheep’s clothing is cultivated and sold in hanging baskets. People actually pay for it! Well, I thought, maybe this merits reconsideration.
The difference is more profound than
one of perceptions; it is one of the spirit.
THE BEAUTY OF CHOICE
There’s great meaning and power for us human beings in controlling our environments. We like to choose what shares our space—you know, a sort of Manifest Destiny thing.
But so many of life's challenges are like plants; if we cannot see a place for them in our lives, they are weeds. But if we can bring ourselves to fully embrace their right to co-exist with us in the vast oneness of life, they become wildflowers. Not just unobtrusive companions, but our beautiful friends.
The difference is more profound than one of perceptions; it is one of the spirit, one that sees, more clearly than eyes can, that weeds grow around us; wildflowers, well, we grow around them.
|Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), declared an unwanted, invasive species in Minnesota.|
* Though I believed I originated this little truism, it’s credited at some quotes websites to Susan Wittig Albert, in her book, An Unthymely Death and Other Garden Mysteries.