Weed, Flower, Beauty

OK, so it’s a bit simple, and certainly not new. What’s a weed? What’s a flower? Eye of the beholder at some level.

I like to garden. I like to have my hands in the dirt. I like the way that I feel when I’m committed to growing things. And yes, there is some kind of energy in all of that, that for me, just feels healthy. I think of it is a kind of wholeness, the energy of a bigger living system (yup, maybe just an expression of one system), that touches me and helps realign, retune me.

In my current garden, this is the first spring / summer that I’m experiencing it. I have a wrap around flower garden in the back. A small southern-exposure vegetable garden on the side. Two significant beds in the front. The person who lived here before me loved flowers. And she did a fantastic job filling the beds. I quite love that every week / month there is a new surprise showing up in the gardens.

Yes, I weed. It’s a bit confusing to me. Knowing what’s a weed and what isn’t. I know that part of me that was trained to think about getting all the weeds out. An urgency. Yet, some of those weeds are quite beautiful. And they seem to do what I (and many) hope for with perennials and ground covers. Hmmm….

So in the midst of my relating to my garden, pulling out a few weeds, leaving a few, pulling out a few flowers, I got curious. Weed? What’s a weed? Who said? “Valueless plant.” Maybe. “To the exclusion of a desired crop.” OK, that’s making more sense. “Inefficient and superfluous.” Says who. I have learned that dandelions go quite well in a salad.

So, here is what I came up with. If my desired crop is tomatoes from my tomato plants, I don’t really want the weeds. True for my food growing. If however, my desire is to see beauty in my flower gardens, and “those weeds” grow naturally and spread naturally, then there is something that makes sense to me in that. Hmmm.

How does all of that relate to organizational work, change, leadership, dialogue? Not intending to force the point, but it seems worth attention. What is the crop that we really intend? What grows wildly? What wants to grow? What is perfect for the environment? You get the gist.

Weeds. Flowers. Beauty.

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