My knuckles and finger joints have had a workout. The nails on my keyboard send signals of tenderness just by typing. The generous rains have supported multitudinous seeds sprouting riotously, filling in between shrubs and every open space with grass and weedy plant cousins.

My hips and lower back are stretched and flexed too. I’ve stooped to pull grasses, bent to spade out clods, and sat in the dirt for hand-to-root combat. I have filled wheelbarrows and lugged them out to the street for the green pickup.

While I was sitting on the front wall, grabbing fistfuls of oxalis with long yellow blossoms, and lobbing them at the parked wheelbarrow, a man and his grown son walked by.

“Your yard is very pretty,” he said pausing by the wheelbarrow. I peered at him from under the funky crocheted hat my friend Sheryl made. The compliment felt nice, but I had to step back, figuratively, and look at the yard from his point of view.

“Oh, thank you,” I replied and stopped pulling greens to smile at him.

“And this years abundance of rain have made lots of weeds,” he observed. The obvious, but said with just a touch of compassion.

“Yes. Well, I don’t need a membership at the gym with all this,” I laughed, waving my hand across the front yard. His son pulled on the golf bag full of clubs and we said goodbyes.

I liked how the man’s simple greeting shifted my view from all-the-work-that-needs-to-be-done to enjoying and appreciating my front yard again.

And yes, I kept at the labor, the stretching, pulling, lifting, and twisting at obstinate roots. The soil was getting dryer in the late afternoon and so not letting go of plants readily. My hands began to ache. It was time to go in and make a thermos of hibiscus tea.

2 thoughts on “Weeds”

  1. I applaud your efforts and loved the “hand to root combat” line. I picked up sticks in my yard for five hours on Tuesday and am just today walking without a limp. I hope your knuckles and joints recover much more quickly than my quads.

  2. Such beautifully descriptive writing. I hope to get outside soon…you inspired me! The kindness of neighbors can be so motivating when you’re tired and wondering if your garden vision will ever be real.

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