Invasive weeds, really prickly ones, are growing around the apartment complex where I live; they’ve spread and killed several areas of the park-like lawn. Besides their school’s rocky playground, this lawn is the only place where many of the children living here get to play.
The weeds’ stickers get into Max’s paws and sneak up the sides of my flip-flopped feet to inject little doses of poison. They are really hard to get out. I don’t like these weeds. But the other morning I noticed an area of bright violet color and went to investigate. The weeds near the water had grown four to five feet tall and had flowered—I know, that means more of the weeds—but I was struck by the beauty of the flowers, and the fact that this prickly weed carries the seed of something so beautiful within.
They reminded me of how life is sometimes: mean, sticky, poisonous. (That’s how we are sometimes, too.) But we’ll get through this period. We will. The solution is to believe in love, to believe in the goodness of life and in our own goodness, in spite of it all. Lovely flowers are germinating and right when it seems the weeds will have triumphed, the flowers will bloom. We’ll dry them, grind them up, and with a little bit of love-magic and some compost, we’ll turn them into something we can learn from, something beautiful for life.
Wisdom grows out of pain. It’s worth it.