New! Improved! Better! Bigger! Faster!
The weeds are none of these. Here they are again: The same old weeds. With the same flavors and textures and tastes. Unimproved. Giving us the same optimum nutrition. Not better. Not bigger. And not even faster, global warming not withstanding.
We have been trained to be consumers, to want to buy things. We have been led to believe that there must be progress, development, change. We tell ourselves that new is better than old. Certainly the car I have now requires far fewer repairs than the first cars I had. My computer is faster and has a much bigger memory. (Ditto for my smart phone.) Progress can be wonderful and it has made the average life much easier, longer, and far more full of things. New things!
And the weeds are the same old weeds. The same old weeds that have been smiling at me every spring for decades. There they are, my old friends, still wearing the same clothes, still living in the same places, still telling the same stories. There’s garlic mustard, ready to add a bitter tang to my salads. Here’s tender gallium tops, delighted to be included in spring meals. There and here and everywhere are wild chives eager to enliven everything from salad to butter.
One by one the same old weeds reappear and find their way to my table: chickweed, nettle, violet, cronewort, docks, dandelions, plantain, and so many more. I think of them as permanent residents of the blue zone. They teach me how to cherish that which is familiar, common, and underfoot.
No matter how big the city, weeds are there. No matter how chem-lawned the suburbs, weeds find ways to grow. No matter how well tended your garden, there are weeds aplenty. When you are friends with the weeds, you are never alone.
I took the last name “Weed” to champion the weeds. (My married name “Susun Swede,” became “Susun S. Weed.”) So come with me, outside into the sun, into the rain, into the breeze, into the stillness, outside where the weeds await. Grab your scissors and basket and let’s make Angel-ed Eggs, my answer to Deviled Eggs.
Green blessings are everywhere.